City transfers funds to address Swan Lake Avenue drainage concern

By Ben Holbrook | Feb 26, 2013

Belfast — A request to transfer funds from a public works account to pay for underground drainage on Swan Lake Avenue was approved by councilors during a meeting Tuesday, Feb. 19.

The new drainage system would be paid for by transferring $14,000 from the Public Works Capital Reserve account to a capital project account for Swan Lake Avenue.

Public Works Director Bob Richards identified a portion of Swan Lake Avenue near the Goose River Elderly Housing Development — which is under construction — as a potential road hazard because of the depth of the ditch needed to drain water away from the road.

In order to eliminate the hazards, the city would have to install guardrails — which would have to be repaired after a vehicle strikes them — or install an underground drainage system. The underground drainage system would be comprised of piping and four new catch basins.

City Manager Joseph Slocum explained to councilors the ditch that is in place at this time is not designed to the standards approved by the Planning Board. For that reason, the developer needs to redo the ditch, which Slocum said presents an opportunity to install the underground drainage system.

The contractor hired by the Goose River Elderly Housing Development would install the parts at no cost to the city, Slocum said.

Councilor Nancy Hamilton asked why the Planning Board approved the elderly housing development without requiring the developer to be responsible for any drainage issues.

Slocum explained that because the development was reviewed over a period of several years, some information regarding the development was most likely overlooked — including the ditch design.

“It needs to be fixed,” Slocum said.

Councilors unanimously approved the transfer of $14,000.

In other business:

• Councilors approved the hiring of Christopher Alley and Garold Demons to be paid per-call firefighters for the city.

• A bid for a one-ton truck in the amount of $36,136 was awarded to Dutch Chevrolet.

• The city will act as the fiscal sponsor for Our Town Belfast’s application to the Artists in Maine Communities grant for their “Please, Be Seated” program.

Republican Journal reporter Ben Holbrook can be reached at 338-3333 or at

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Comments (2)
Posted by: Lorry Burpee | Feb 28, 2013 09:54

$36,136?! Has anyone ever heard of eBay?! Craigslist?! A used truck with low mileage? Didn't we just have a big fight over raising taxes?! Yet we're just tossing $36,136 to ONE truck?!

Posted by: Harold Richardson | Feb 27, 2013 10:30

Republican Journal-why do you continue to allow this?  Most posting sites at least have some type of word limit.  I do agree with the writer on one point-The city mgr and planning director do an incredible job for Belfast and I hope all the citizens appreciate their efforts.  In fact-kudos to all the great city workers and officials that make this a great place to live and visit.   

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