Camden board sets hearing for $2 million Snow Bowl bond

Posted Aug. 20, 2013, at 8:54 p.m.

CAMDEN, Maine — The Select Board voted unanimously Tuesday night to hold a public hearing on Sept. 3 which will be the final step to get a $2 million bond issue before town voters to make improvements to the Camden Snow Bowl.

“This is a fabulous idea. I support it going to the voters,” said Select Board member Donald White Jr.

Board members congratulated the Ragged Mountain Redevelopment Committee on its success in nearing $4.5 million in private dollars for the planned improvements at the town-owned recreation property.

In November 2008, Camden voters approved a nonbinding referendum 2,037 to 1,273 to borrow $2 million if supporters could raise $4.5 million in private money.

Committee member Rick Knowlton said the estimate is that if the town borrows the $2 million, the average annual repayment on that borrowing will be $110,000. The payments will start at about $140,000 per year and then drop to $70,000 annually in the latter period of the loan.

Knowlton said the town does not have significant debt.

Knowlton, a proponent of the project, said that an economic analysis is being done to help people who do not use the Snow Bowl realize the positive impact the facility has on Camden and the region.

“I believe the impact is significant,” Knowlton said.

If the voters approve the borrowing package on Nov. 5, work on the trails, lifts and snow-making machinery would start in the spring. The final part of the project would be construction of a new, larger lodge in 2015.

Select Board member Leonard Lookner said the fundraising effort was a Herculean achievement.

The formal public hearing will be Sept. 3 and the board is expected to vote that night to place the matter on the ballot.

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