June 20, 2018
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Camden to help fund wind project feasibility study

By Abigail Curtis, BDN Staff

CAMDEN, Maine — The Select Board voted unanimously at Tuesday night’s regular meeting to accept a memorandum of understanding between the Island Institute’s Maine Coast Community Wind group and the town.

According to the memorandum, Camden will pay $5,000 toward a feasibility study into the possibility of a community wind project atop Ragged Mountain. Maine Coast Community Wind will “engage in brainstorming sessions, consult with experts as needed, refine options and work with legal counsel” regarding the project.

At the end of January, Maine Coast Community Wind will make a PowerPoint presentation to Camden with its suggestions, according to the memorandum.

In other business, the Select Board voted to delay deciding whether or not to accept credit card payments at the town’s main office until more anecdotal evidence could be gathered.

“You want data, we’ll get you data,” said Town Manager Roberta Smith after the board members discussed the issue for nearly an hour.

The town in 2003 rejected a similar proposal because state laws limited how municipalities could “pass along” merchant fees in credit card transactions, according to a memo from Carol Sue Greenleaf, the town’s finance director.

But a new state law was passed in September that would allow towns to impose a customer surcharge to absorb the merchant fees, Greenleaf wrote. She estimated that the town would incur $1,455 in startup costs before it could begin processing credit card transactions.

“I’m just a little bit struggling over whether that investment is going to pay off,” said Select Board Member Anita Brosius-Scott.

Greenleaf said that residents have made many requests to use credit cards to pay property taxes and other fees.



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