ROCKLAND, Maine — City councilors agreed Monday night to spend more money than originally expected to correct a drainage problem in a residential neighborhood.
The council voted 4-0 vote to transfer $45,000 from surplus to help cover the added cost of the project. Mayor William Clayton abstained from voting because he lives in the Pen Bay Acres neighborhood where the work will be done.
Engineer Andrew Hedrich said the initial estimate for the project was developed in 2011 at a time when contractors couldn’t find work. This year, contractors are busy and costs for materials have risen significantly, he said.
The low bid for the drainage work came in at $84,777. The only other bid was $125,000, he said.
City Manager James Smith said the city is doing the work to protect the public roads in the neighborhood.
Pen Bay Acres is built on a slope and water running down from higher up on the slope is damaging property. Councilor Larry Pritchett said the development was not designed to handle the runoff.
Thirteen residents signed a letter in March 2011 asking the city to take steps to help with the water runoff problem.
“In many areas the runoff has been likened to an open fire hydrant. Most of the undersigned have spent their own money — in some cases considerable amounts — fashioning ways to funnel the water to cause the least amount of damage to their properties,” the neighbors stated in that letter.