Harbor Master reserve funds first anticipated to finish the pickleball courts were diverted March 11 to another highly anticipated project – the Route 27 northbound sidewalk. Boothbay Harbor selectmen decided to move the $23,000 into the sidewalk project after Chair Wendy Wolf suggested considering another recent increase in cost means the towns' 20 percent match will also rise.
In 2010, Town Manager Tom Woodin and Boothbay Town Manager Dan Bryer applied for a Maine Department of Transportation grant. The grant was approved by the next year for construction to begin in 2014 with the cost estimate of $665,206, Wolf explained.
“For a variety of reasons, that sidewalk has been delayed repeatedly, not by the towns, but by MDOT,” said Wolf. “In 2018 … we learned from MDOT that their contractor, Sebago Technics, had not done the right-of-way process to purchase right-of-way from local property owners, so the sidewalk was delayed into 2019.”
A new estimate came in January for $759,000, but about two weeks later, one came in for $810,000. Construction costs, the right-of-way study and adding on-site supervisory engineering management are to blame for the increase in costs, said Wolf.
The good news is construction will happen this spring, Wolf said. Bids are out and are expected back by March 27. However, the increase in costs mean the local match will fall short by about $28,000.
The pickleball and basketball courts have about $53,000 left on striping the courts, paving the parking lot and vegetation. That estimate might be high considering around $30,000 in vegetation recommendations, said Woodin. He explained he was trying to offset costs with the Harbor Master reserve funds. Planning to divert the funds is inconsequential because the town will just pay for it later, said Woodin.
Updates and licenses
The board unanimously approved an updated public use document Woodin produced on Fish Pier public space. The 1992 document had antiquated policies like permitting fees which have not been enforced in many years.
“Those have been eliminated,” Woodin said. “Other than that … the south side portion of the pier primarily available for commercial fishery and public access for Boothbay Harbor residents now (says) ‘with limited access by the public.’ So it's not exclusive.”
Boothbay Region Historical Society's lease agreement with the town will time out after 10 years this June. Woodin said the Society's president Kathy Tibbetts has been proactive about renewing the agreement for the space at 72 Oak St. The rate has been $1 per year. The board unanimously renewed the lease for another 10 years at the same rate.
The board unanimously accepted the only returned bid to print the annual town report. Costs will be $6,560, about $100 under anticipated costs. Lincoln County Publishing, the report's publisher for the last 12 years, was the bidder.
The board unanimously approved liquor licenses for Linekin Bay Resort, The Opera House, Kaler’s Crab and Lobster House, and Capers Deli.
Financial Officer Julia Latter said the town’s revenue and expenses, year to date, total $ 7,262,674 and $6,004,754, respectively. The total accounts payable are $303,902.56 and the bank balance is $3,164,992.31. Tax collection is about 93 percent and winter operations are at 51 percent.