Boothbay region receiving big splash of county ARPA funds to safeguard drinking water

Wed, 10/05/2022 - 10:45am

    The Boothbay Region Clean Drinking Water Initiative to protect the local water supply is receiving American Rescue Plan Act funds via Lincoln County. The initiative consists of Southport, Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor, as well as Boothbay Region Land Trust, Bigelow Laboratory, Boothbay Region Water District, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Knickerbocker Lake Association and Boothbay Region YMCA. 

    On Oct. 4, county commissioners approved a $195,000 grant to cover the group’s administrative costs for three years. The initiative wants to protect Knickerbocker Lake and Adams Pond from further pollutant contamination by safeguarding the drinking water source’s watershed. Hal Moorefield is a BRCDWI member. He wrote the letter in April seeking county ARPA funding. “These lakes supply 200 million gallons of water per year to the peninsula. Since 1989, the Maine DEP has designated these lakes as ‘threatened’ due to ongoing human development and associated pollution,” he wrote.

    In an effort to safeguard the Boothbay region’s drinking water, the initiative sought county help in funding administrative costs with hopes of generating more grants. According to the initiative’s letter, the organization would receive $65,000 a year for funding 20 weeks of office staffing, contracting services (mapping, studies and plans), marketing materials, survey easement, attorney fees and land acquisition.  

    In other action, County Emergency Management Agency Director Casey Stevens updated commissioners on an amateur radio initiative helping residents contact friends and families impacted by Hurricane Ian. “Last week I heard about people not being able to contact friends and family,” he said. “They couldn’t contact them through traditional areas so I put the team together so they could work their magic.” Stevens explained requests are received online and forwarded to team members. 

    Requests are made at Requests can also be made by phone at (207) 579-0571. Stevens recommends callers leave their name and number and a team member will contact them. A third option is meeting the team on Friday afternoons or Saturday mornings at its mobile command vehicle at the county courthouse.

    Commissioners renewed a contract with Maine Emergency Management Agency for an Emergency Management Performance Grant. Under the contract, Lincoln County EMA receives $137,385.88 in grant funds. Stevens reported this represents half of the department funding. 

    Chief Deputy Rand Maker filled in for Sheriff Todd Brackett. He reported Detective Scott Hayden received a promotion to patrol sergeant. Commissioners also approved hiring Joseph Booth as a patrol deputy. Booth previously served with Damariscotta Police Department. 

    County Administrator Carrie Kipfer reported the county received a notice of taking from Maine Department of Transportation. The parcel, owned by Scott Dodge, is on Route 129 in South Bristol. “The DOT is replacing a culvert and needs the land for drainage,” Kipfer said. 

    Commissioners meet next at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18 in the courthouse.