ROCKPORT, Maine — The Selectboard agreed Wednesday night to place two ballot questions before voters on June 11 about extending sewer lines along Route 1.
Interim Town Manager Roger Moody said that the goal of the two extension projects is to encourage development along the sections of Route 1 that have no public sewer.
The rough estimate to extend the sewer line 3,400 north from Pen Bay Medical Center to about the location of the Offshore restaurant and Oakland Park is $1.1 million, Moody said. In addition, the proposal to extend the sewer line south from the State of Maine Cheese Co. location is estimated to cost about $700,000.
These questions would go to voters as bond referendums which would authorize the town to borrow the money.
The catalyst for bond questions on extending sewer lines is a proposal by Pen Bay to build a hospice center off Route 1 on the grounds of the hospital. The proposed hospice house would serve up to seven patients in a 12,000-square-foot building located on the northern end of the hospital’s property.
Rockport Town Planner Tom Ford said Pen Bay would like to break ground in June for the project.
Currently, the Glen Cove area of Rockport where the hospital is located has a sewer line that takes waste south to the wastewater treatment plant in neighboring Rockland. Sewage from Rockport Village and Route 1 on the northern end of town are piped to the wastewater treatment plant in neighboring Camden.
Moody pointed out that the Rockport Comprehensive Plan calls for public sewer access along Route 1 to encourage more intensive development on that stretch of the community.
Ford said the ultimate goal is to continue to extend the sewer lines on Route 1 to connect the southern and northern links. That has not yet been proposed.
“This would be an excellent economic development tool for us,” Ford said of extending the sewer lines as proposed for the June ballot. He said there are some large tracts of land that could be developed easier if there was public sewer access.
Moody said the debt for the sewer project that serves Rockport Village is nearly paid. That was approved about 20 years ago when he was serving as Camden’s town manager.
The hospice house proposal was reviewed by the planning board last week and is expected to go before it again next month.