Rockport voters elect new select board members, say yes to middle school construction

Posted:  Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - 7:45pm

More than 1,040 Rockport elected three select board members and approved a $25.2 million bond to build a new middle school in Camden for School Administrative District 28 (Camden-Rockport K-8) (vote was 669 to 396). The voters said no on a nonbinding referendum to all marijuana establishments and retail marijuana social clubs and the development of regulations.

There were six candidates running for two three-year seats and one running for a one two-year term. The new select board members are Tom Gray, Mark Kelley and Doug Cole.

Candidates received the following votes:

William C. Chapman, 203

Douglas S. Cole, 435

Anastasia Ileana Fischer, 406

Mark G. Kelley, 562

Geoffrey C. Parker, 201

Theodore F. Skowronski, 55


Thomas H. Gray ran for the one two-year seat. He received 772 votes.


There was one seat open on School Administrative District #28 for a three-year term (serves concurrently on the Five Town CSD School Board). Only one candidate stepped forward to run for that seat: Sarah Bradley Prindiville. She received 811 votes.

Heaven L.N. Bartlett ran unopposed for a three-year seat on the Library Committee. She received 764 votes.  

Two candidates ran for a one-year seat on the Library Committee: Brooke E. Kehoe and Cheryl A. Leichty. Kehoe received 338 votes and Leichty 467 votes.

Three candidates, Heaven L.N. Bartlett, Stephanie Kumble and Thomas M. Murphy, ran for three empty three-year terms on the Budget Committee.


Municipal articles

Article 3: Hotels in the Downtown

Passed at 729 to 308

The measure allows Hotels in part of the Harbor Village or “Downtown” area, with a total maximum of forty (40) rooms to be permitted (Section 913).


Article 4: Development Definitions

Passed 810 to 219

The measure creates new definitions concerning processing of materials and stockyards to distinguish between landscaping, heavy landscaping, and other contractors’ stockyards. Definitions concerning storage buildings including “mini-storage” are also proposed (Section 300).


Article 5: Zoning district boundaries

passed 776 to 213 

The measure rezones several West Rockport properties close to the intersection of Routes 17 & 90 to expand commercial development potential. Several properties are proposed to be rezoned from the existing 902 Village to the Section 906 Mixed Business Residential designation.


Article 6: Architectural Review Standards

passed 845 to 158

The measure clarifies several provisions of the existing Architectural Review standards, applicable only to non-residential construction (Section 1003).


Article 7: Numbering and formatting.

Passed 875 to 124

The measure  standardizes numbering and formatting throughout the LUO, referencing the Permitted Use and Dimensional Tables within each zoning district.


Article 8: Permitted Use Table

Passed 782 to 172

The measure changes the applicable zoning districts where the following uses are permitted, and whether or not a special exception is needed: Affordable Housing; Art Galleries; Barber Shop/Salon; Boat Storage; Boat Storage/Shipyard & Sales; Outdoor Recreation; and Restaurants.


Article 9: The Rockport Zoning Map is amended

Passed 796 to 148

The measure is to correct certain minimum street frontage requirements for Rockport Mixed Business/Residential zoning district.


Article 10: Acceptance of 1,600 feet of private right-of-ways known as a portion of Bayberry Lane. 

Was defeated with 510 voting no and  412 yes

The measure rose after a resident requested to accept a portion of a private road in the Bay Ridge subdivision that connects two Town roads and has met the conditions for road acceptance under the newly adopted ordinance. Under the ordinance this needs to receive voter approval.


Article 11: Enact an Ordinance entitled the Emergency Management Ordinance in order to be NIMS compliant

Passed 811 to 129

This is to memorialize, in ordinance, a Select Board policy making the National Incident Management System (NIMS) the Town’s emergency response protocol for all emergencies. This is the last step in the Town’s efforts to become NIMS compliant. Achieving this goal means that in the event of an emergency we will be reacting the same way as other public safety agencies and in addition, it makes the Town of Rockport eligible for many more public safety grants that are available.

Article 12.  Failed.

321 yes

668 no

A non-binding advisory question regarding allowing marijuana establishments and retail marijuana social clubs and the development of regulations. Given the recent passage of legislation allowing the possession and use of marijuana for 3 personal use, the Town will have to consider the question of allowing its commercial cultivation and sale as it would any land use question. The Town has the option to permit or not permit commercial sales, as part of the normal land use process. At this point, nothing about this article is binding in any way. Given the fact that the vote was split nearly 50/50 here in Rockport, the Town is trying to get a sense of the “will” of the voters, with regard to allowing commercial operations or not. The State is still developing rules that will guide us, but your input will help the Select Board as we prepare for the next step.



Middle School Project and School budgets

The $25.2 million bond to demolish and build a new school on Knowlton Street passed 669 to 396

The ballot questions asks voters:

“Do you favor authorizing [SAD 28] to issue bonds or notes in the name of the district form school construction purposes in an amount not to exceed $25,200,000 to construct and equip a grade 5 through 8 middle school on the site of the existing Camden-Rockport Middle School, as described in greater detail below (‘the Project’)?

“The Project includes the following elements:

“a. New Construction

“b. Demolition of the existing middle school facility.

“c. To the extent, if any, needed for the development of the Project on the existing site, acquisition and conveyance of easements and other interests in real property.”

Supporters of new Camden middle school rally for June 13 polls; residents question need for MET demolition

 Here is the ballot question: SAD 28 Referendum (school construction)

The 2017-2018 school budgets for both the Camden-Rockport K-8 schools, as well as the Camden Hills Regional High School, are also on the ballot. The ballots are:

SAD 28 Validation Referendum  795 to 235            

CSD 19 Validiation Referendum   806 to 236


Statewide ballot

Passed 712 to 331

The state is asking voters: "Do you favor a $50,000,000 bond issue to provide $45,000,000 in funds for investment in research, development and commercialization in the State to be used for infrastructure, equipment and technology upgrades that enable organizations to gain and hold market share, to increase revenues and to expand employment or preserve jobs for Maine people, to be awarded through a competitive process to Maine-based public and private entities, leveraging other funds in a one-to-one ratio and $5,000,000 in funds to create jobs and economic growth by lending to or investing in small businesses with the potential for significant growth and strong job creation?"

According to the Maine state treasurer, General Obligation bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the State and must be submitted statewide to voters for approval. Once approved, the Treasurer issues bonds as needed to fund the approved bond projects and uses a rapid 10-year repayment of principal strategy to retire the debt. If the bond proposals on the ballot in June 2017 are approved by the voters, general obligation debt service as a percentage of the State’s General Fund, Highway Fund and Revenue Sharing appropriations is expected to be 2.30 percent in FY17 and 2.78 percent in FY18.

The intent of the bond is:

This Act would authorize the State to issue general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed fifty million dollars ($50,000,000), to raise funds for the purpose of economic development.

The bonds would run for a period not longer than 10 years from the date of issue and would be backed by the full faith and credit of the State. Proceeds of the sale of the bonds would be expended as follows:

• Forty-five million dollars ($45,000,000) would be distributed by the Maine Technology Institute in the form of grants to support infrastructure, equipment and technology upgrades in the following targeted technology sectors: biotechnology, aquaculture and marine technology, composite materials technology, environmental technology, advanced technologies for forestry and agriculture, information technology, and precision manufacturing technology. Funds would be awarded to public and private entities in Maine through a competitive process, and recipients would be required to match these State dollars with an equivalent amount of federal or private funds.

• Five million dollars ($5,000,000) would be placed in the Small Enterprise Growth Fund, which is administered by the Finance Authority of Maine and disbursed at the direction of the Small Enterprise Growth Board, for investments in qualifying small businesses that demonstrate the potential for high-growth and public benefit. The statute establishing this Fund defines a small business as one that employs fifty or fewer employees or had gross sales of five million dollars ($5,000,000) or less within the last twelve months for which financial data is available.

Eligible businesses are those involved in: marine sciences, biotechnology, manufacturing, export of goods or services out of state or that result in significant amounts of capital being imported into the State, software development, environmental services or technologies, financial or insurance products or services, value-added goods from natural resources, and any other enterprises found to meet the purposes and intent of the program. Applicants must provide evidence of commitment of all reasonably available resources to the project and a need for the financial assistance from the fund in order to realize projected growth and achievement of public benefits.

If approved, the authorization of these bonds would take effect 30 days after the Governor’s proclamation of the vote. A “YES” vote approves the issuance of up to fifty million dollars ($50,000,000) in general obligation bonds to finance the activities described above. A “NO” vote disapproves the bond issue in its entirety. Debt Service Prepared by the Office of the Treasurer Total estimated life time cost is $63,750,000 representing $50,000,000 in principal and $13,750,000 in interest (assuming interest at 5.00% over 10 years).