Roundabout construction drawing to a close

Scheduled to end June 30
Posted:  Tuesday, June 19, 2018 - 3:30pm

The end is near for the Route 27 Redevelopment project. Boothbay Town Manager Dan Bryer told selectmen during the June 13 board meeting, once three days of surface paving (June 18-20) were done, the project would be almost finished.

During those three days, Sargent Construction would begin surface paving six feeder routes (Back River Road, Corey Lane, Country Club Drive, Adams Pond Road, and both ends of Route 27) into the roundabout. The surface paving was scheduled for last week, but weather conditions didn’t permit it and temporarily delayed the project, according to Bryer.

“The surface paving is heavily dependent on the weather, and islikely to cause some of the most extended traffic delays we’ve seen. But once it’s done, all that’s left is some minor work,” he said. 

Bryer reported the project is on schedule to meet the June 30 completion date.

Work on the surrounding landscaping continues. Bryer alerted selectmen to a recent change in the roundabout’s look. “If you are wondering what happened to the blue spruce, it didn’t disappear. It was replaced,” he said. “It was too small and will be replaced with a more substantial-sized tree.”

The landscaping committee is assisting in decorating Route 27 with various trees and shrubs. But Bryer advised as time passes, the roundabout’s look will continue to change. Bryer invited the public to view how the landscaping would look once trees and shrubs fully mature. The committee has poster boards in the municipal building showing images of adult-sized trees and shrubs decorating the roundabout.

In other action, selectmen scheduled a special town meeting for 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 27. A regularly scheduled selectmen’s meeting will follow. Both are at the municipal building. The special town meeting warrant has three articles. After a moderator is elected, residents will consider two articles requesting to transfer $92,600 from unassigned funds to cover overdrafts in the legal and code enforcement budgets. Article 2 requests residents authorize the transfer of $60,000 for the FY 18 legal fund. Article 3 requests transferring $32,600 for the FY 18 code enforcement budget.

Bryer reported both overages are mostly due to three lawsuits against the town stemming from Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens’ expansion project. The town exhausted its $30,000 legal budget stemming from lawsuits over the appeals board’s Nov. 9 decision denying CMBG a building permit.

The town has spent another $60,000 in legal expenses on CMBG-related and other municipal matters, according to Bryer. “Most of the expenses are due to the lawsuits and additional code enforcement personnel to deal with the CMBG issues. We will provide voters with a breakdown of all expenses during the special town meeting.”

Joint Economic Development Council Co-Chairman Wendy Wolf also requested selectmen develop a list of three priorities from the Camoin Associates report. In October, Camoin finished a regional economic development plan for the Boothbay peninsula. Camoin developed 63 priorities for economic growth and the JEDC wants Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor selectmen to rank the top three.

Boothbay selectmen will schedule a workshop to rank their priorities, then schedule a joint meeting with their Boothbay Harbor counterparts to select three mutual priorities.

Prior to Wolf’s request, Selectman Kristina Ford addressed the JEDC’s May 15 request  for Boothbay Region Television not to record its meeting. Ford said she spoke for the entire board in that Boothbay strongly believed in transparency and the request shouldn’t have been made. Wolf agreed. The JEDC chairman and Boothbay Harbor selectman stated the request was made because several committee members were uncomfortable with the proceedings being recorded.

“Several committee members are not public officials and haven’t  received Maine’s Right to Know Law training required for selectmen and planning board members. They threatened to leave, and if they did, we wouldn’t have had a quorum. It was wrong, but a practical request,” Wolf said.

Selectmen didn’t set a date for the workshop. They want a date which allows them one to two hours to review their options.

The board meets next at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 27 in the municipal building’s conference room.