Special Town Meeting Monday Feb 12, 2018 6PM at Walsh Common of the Lincolnville Central School, 523 Hope Road
Reasons to cast a YES vote:
The Lincolnville Sewer District has secured 3,135,000 (94%) of a 3,325,000 project which will generate more than five million dollars in revenue over 40 years. With town support, the project will be fully self sufficient after the first ten years. However, if the Town of Lincolnville isn’t willing to support the project with a binding decision to allocate up to $190,000 (6%) soon, the entire project along with the grant funding is at risk of folding.
All communities need healthy/reliable, long term solutions to sewage treatment and disposal. The success of the Lincolnville Sewer District can be used to support/improve other areas areas of town as well.
There is a responsibility, on the part of town management, to contribute to the infrastructure of a town's business district and areas of resident and tourist recreation. With a yes vote, the town makes a modest financial contribution and has no further obligation.
Our community needs to support both marine based businesses as well as the restaurants and retail shops along Route 1 because providing residents with jobs is important to the economic health of Lincolnville.
Properties within the district provide a sizable portion of town tax revenue.
Updated sewer treatment with a long term life will contribute to the health of the bay and waterways that flow into the bay.
Many homes in the district are of historic age and are on land lots that are too small to support independent, effective septic and leaching systems.
In June 2017, Lincolnville town residents voted overwhelmingly (4-1 margin) to establish a Wastewater Capital Reserve Fund (WCRF) and to fund that account with $25,000. The funds could be used, at the discretion of the Select Board, to support wastewater projects, such as the Lincolnville Sewer District (LSD) who anticipated needing assistance in covering a portion of its debt service as the project reached full utilization rates. The LSD projected a need of up to $19,000 annually for the first ten years of operation. The Trustees presented to and requested this of the Select Board over the spring of 2017. At that time, the Select Board voted unanimously to propose the creation of the WCRF to the voters who passed the measure.
Upon further discussion with the USDA Rural Development (the originators of both a $1.6 mil loan and a $1 mil grant for the project), the LSD was notified that the creation of the WCRF, while a helpful start, did not satisfy the USDA because it would need to be funded annually as a line item in the town budget. The USDA interpreted this as an unclear commitment. So the Lincolnville Sewer District resumed discussions with the Town of Lincolnville to create an Agreement which establishes a Town contribution of $19,000 annually for the first 10 years once the Lincolnville Sewer District is operational.
The full agreement, drafted by the Town's attorney, approved by the USDA, is here. Both the Board of Selectmen and the Town Budget Committee unanimously recommend approval. Background information is here.
The Agreement clearly states:
time frame - if the project has not used its USDA loan by Dec. 31, 2021, the Agreement would be withdrawn and the Town would have no further responsibility
communication - the Agreement states that the Town may appoint an observer who the Sewer District shall invite to attend all Sewer District Board of Trustees’ meetings on the Town’s behalf. The purpose of this appointment is to ensure a strong working relationship between the Town and the Sewer District
no further responsibility - upon completion of the Agreement, the Town would have no further responsibility, fiscal or otherwise, to the Lincolnville Sewer District