I am pleased that the Town will be able to open the new Library building. There is still work to be done for the project to be complete, and some of the work, in particular the landscaping, will be completed in the spring.
The lower patio base is expected to be installed so that it can settle and compact over the winter. Public Works will be building and installing a temporary wooden walkway that can be used as an egress from the lower level of the building so that space can be used as soon as the elevator inspection by the State is complete. This will increase the capacity to 15 patrons.
I would like to say that thanks to Phil Builders & Architects, the project came in on budget.
Charlie Frattini, Nate Yeater and Bettina Doulton are to be credited for constructing this library and making the beautiful space that it is and will be for the next century.
Thanks also to architect Stephen Smith, and engineer Will Gartley. Thanks also to Public Works Director Mike Young, Owner’s Representative Mary Beth Van Keuren and Library Director Ben Blackmon for their assistance on the project.
The Rockport Library Foundation also deserves a huge amount of credit, for without their fundraising efforts, the library would not have been constructed.
They raised more than their original $2 million commitment for construction with the additional funds helping to purchase furniture, fixtures and equipment in the building and another donor provided significant funds to upgrade and complete the lower level of the Library into a terrific space for library programming and other community events.
Tax Acquired Property Bid
The bids for the parcel of tax acquired property at 280 Rockland Street were due on Monday November 30. The Town did not receive any bids. However, we will be re-advertising and have a few potential buyers that may be interested that contacted the Town Office after the bids were due.
Employee Appreciation Luncheon
As the Board knows, the Town holds a luncheon in December for employee appreciation where all employees gather and enjoy a meal. Unfortunately, this year we are not able to have all employees at one location. Instead, each department will gather, socially distanced in large spaces, to enjoy a meal. I will attend each of these luncheons and thank the employees.
Public Works Truck Bid
The Town received three bids for the new Western Star wheeler truck for the Public Works Department on December 9. The Public Works Director is reviewing the bids to make a recommendation. This will be brough to the Select Board for action in January.
Maine Economic Recovery Grants
The Maine Economic Recovery Grants, utilizing federal CARES Act funding, were processed, and distributed by the regional Economic Development Districts (EDDs). The Town of Rockport partnered with the Midcoast Economic Development District (MCEDD) to print and mail the recovery grant checks in MCEDD’s region of which Rockport is a part. To date, the Finance Department has processed 516 checks for businesses and nonprofit organizations.
The Town is receiving $100 per check processed, amounting to $51,600 so far. The Phase 2 grants are still being processed by MCEDD and the State, and another round of grants is currently open.