Newport to vote on land purchases for new town garage, recreational purposes

Posted July 15, 2011, at 5:26 p.m.

NEWPORT, Maine — Proposals for the town to buy property on Grogan Avenue for construction of a new public works garage and land on Moosehead Trail for recreational purposes will be on the agenda at a special town meeting on Wednesday evening.

The meeting will take place at the Newport Recreation Center, located at 81 North St., starting at 7 p.m.

Residents will be asked to approve a transfer from the town’s fund balance, not to exceed $155,000, to purchase the property at 13 Grogan Ave. and the borrowing of up to $500,000 to pay for the construction of a new public works garage there.

“I’m thinking that we’ll have quite a few residents come to this meeting,” said Town Manager Jim Ricker. “It’s getting a lot of talk around town.”

The new garage would be a 60-by-100-foot steel building, and an existing building would be renovated.

The $500,000 would be borrowed through a 10-year bond at 3.50 percent interest. The first annual payment would be approximately $59,332, due in June 2012, while the total interest over the 10-year period is estimated at $93,315.

“It is an investment in the town’s future. We’ll just have to see how the taxpayers feel about it,” said Ricker.

Residents also will be asked to approve the purchase, for $450,000, of 6.8 acres at 159 Moosehead Trail from Marie Tardy Patterson. The land would be used for future recreational opportunities including a public park, trail access for all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles, a small marina with boat slips and a boat launch facility.

The 10-year agreement would be interest-free with annual payments of $45,000.

Ricker said acquisition of the land would be a huge boost to a town, which generates a lot of revenue from recreational activities.

“We are a recreation-based community right now with that new four seasons trail,” said Ricker. “We have a lot of snowmobiles and we have a lot of four-wheelers [that visit] our business community. We do not own any property that we can let these people park on that gets them access to these trails.”

Another article on the warrant asks residents whether the town may transfer funds from its fund balance not to exceed $15,000 to be expended in the fuel, oil, diesel and gasoline accounts as needed to prevent overdrafts for the remainder of 2011.

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