In this article, we will provide a detailed summary of the Camden Select Board Meeting held on August 22, 2023. The meeting covered various important topics, including public comments, approval of board minutes, and updates on ongoing projects. Additionally, we will highlight key discussions and decisions made by the board members.
Public Comments and Approval of Board Minutes
The meeting began with a public comment session on non-agenda items, but no members of the public had any comments to share. The next agenda item was the approval of the board minutes from July 26, 2023, and August 8, 2023. A motion was made to approve the minutes, and after a discussion, it was unanimously agreed upon.
Update on the Manager’s Report
The manager’s report was then discussed, starting with an update on the recent incident of brown water from faucets and appliances in some parts of town. It was explained that a water main break on Atlantic Avenue caused soil to enter the system, resulting in discolored water. The board noted the lack of information from Maine Water, the service provider, and suggested the need for a better alert system for such incidents.
The board then moved on to discuss the progress of the treatment plant project, which was being financed through rural development funding. It was mentioned that there were three sources of funding for the project: a federal loan, a local match requirement, and a federal grant. The board highlighted the need to utilize the remaining federal grant funds for other projects, instead of returning them to rural development. The Mountainside Community Cooperative’s need for funding was also brought up during this discussion.
Montgomery Dam Update
The board provided an update on the Montgomery Dam project, mentioning that a quote from a masonry contractor had been received and passed on to the Montgomery family. Another quote for landscaping was still awaited. Once both quotes are received and agreed upon, the board will discuss the acceptance of funds and reach an agreement.
Furthermore, it was mentioned that the gate for the dam had already been fabricated, and the board discussed the installation process. Originally, the plan was for the Public Works employees to undertake the installation, but due to unforeseen circumstances, it was now being discussed whether a contractor would be hired for this task.
Energy Efficiency Upgrades and Siemens Project
The board discussed a project related to energy efficiency upgrades in various town-owned facilities, which was being carried out by Siemens. It was explained that the project was nearing completion, with only the replacement of the slate roof for the opera house remaining. Due to price fluctuations, a negotiation was made with Siemens, resulting in them paying the difference in costs and providing additional funds for project management. This development would allow for the project’s conclusion later in the year.
Additionally, an investment-grade audit report was mentioned, which assessed the energy savings resulting from the upgrades made by Siemens. The board requested the report from Siemens for further review.
Presentation on Climate Change Impacts
The board shared that a presentation on the impacts of climate change on subsurface infrastructure had been given to the West Bay Rotary. Although board members were already familiar with the subject matter, the presentation was well-received by the public and helped increase understanding of the challenges faced by the town’s infrastructure due to climate change-induced precipitation.
Volunteers of America Contract Work
The board announced that the Volunteers of America (VOA) had commenced their contract work with Camden, Rockport, and Rockland. The VOA caseworkers would assist with connecting individuals to necessary services and resources. The board expressed gratitude for the support provided by the VOA and acknowledged the positive impact it would have on residents in need of assistance.
In conclusion, the August 22, 2023 Camden Select Board meeting covered a range of important topics and updates. From discussing the need for better communication during water system incidents to planning the utilization of remaining funds for various projects, the board actively addressed the town’s interests. Additionally, updates on ongoing projects, such as the Montgomery Dam and energy efficiency upgrades, were provided. The meeting’s focus on informing the public about climate change impacts and the positive contributions of the Volunteers of America highlighted the board’s commitment to the community’s well-being.