January 20, 2018
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Bonds, mapping data on Ellsworth agenda

By Rich Hewitt, BDN Staff

ELLSWORTH, Maine — City councilors will hold a special meeting at 8 a.m. Friday at the City Hall council chambers to deal will two financial matters.

Councilors will be asked to accept the bid from Raymond James and Associates Inc. for a general obligation bond in the amount of $3,574,000. The company was the low bidder of five offering a rate of 2.09 percent.

According to City Manager Michelle Beal, the bond will fund three projects. The largest portion of the bond, $2.1 million, will fund the Route 1A water main extension project that will extend the city water line along Route 1A and into the business park. That project already is under way in conjunction with the Maine Department of Transportation project to reconstruct a section of that road.

The city will use $690,235 to buy a new ladder truck that the council approved last year. Beal said the interest rate offered was less than the interest on a proposed lease-to-buy plan the city had considered. The lease rate would have been 4.5 percent.

The city also plans to refinance an existing bond, which was initially approved to fund three separate road projects. The initial amount of the bond was $1.25 million and the city still owes about $780,715, Beal said. By refinancing at this time, she said, the city will save about $62,000.

City councilors also will be asked to approve the purchase of additional geographic information system, or GIS, mapping data through the state’s GeoLibrary program. The program is funded in part through a $1.4 million grant from federal stimulus funds to Northeastern states to collect light detection and ranging data, or LIDAR. Maine will receive $489,000 from the grant and will contribute an additional $290,000. LIDAR acts like radar, but uses light instead of radio waves to measure distances and ranges.

The state’s program will provide Ellsworth with highly accurate topographical information on 19 square miles of the city. Councilors are being asked to appropriate $2,903 for an additional 10 square miles of data in order to include all of the area designated as Future Commercial Growth Area.

The information can be used in future planning for a variety of projects, according to prepared information for the council.

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