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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

UPDATE ON WORUMBO MILL PROPERTY


After the Town Council meeting of October 2, 2018, Executive Session, the Town Council approved the purchase of the Worumbo Mill property.  The motion was made by Councilor Kolbe and seconded by Councilor LaRochelle moved that the Town enter into an agreement for purchase of real estate at 1 Canal Street, Tax Map U05, Lot 14 with payment for the real estate not to exceed $30,000.00 contingent upon the town entering into an agreement to obtain access to the real estate for purposes of conducting environmental assessment; and contingent on the results of said environmental assessment, and that the Town Manager be authorized to negotiate the final terms of the agreements and to execute the agreements and all related documents on behalf of the Town.
On the agenda of the Conservation Commission meeting of October 18, 2018, this purchase was to be discussed.  However, I contacted a member of the commission and it was never discussed.  I contacted the Town Manager, Mrs. Diane Barnes, on November 1, 2018 and learned quite a bit of information I want to share with residents of Lisbon.
According to Mrs. Barnes, the town has received a Brownfield grant of $200,000.00 for the purpose of conducting Phase I and II environmental assessments.  These funds will be used to conduct assessment on the property at 1 Canal Street.  This assessment is broken down into two Phases.  Phase I is a review of all the documentation (which includes the Maine Environmental Protection Agency’s report from years ago) and Phase II is an analysis of the soil.  The town has entered into an agreement with a company called TRC to perform Phase 1 and 2 on October 31, 2018.  Phase 1 will begin next month and Phase 2 will begin in the spring.
I am concerned because the last time Councilor Fern LaRochelle was on the Town Council; he tried to have the town purchase this same property from the Millers.  This original deal was behind closed doors, in Executive Session, but the people voted NOT to purchase the property.  I believe that this was due to the fact of the Maine Environmental Protection Agency report on toxic material under the surface and the fact it is in a flood zone.

Now, Councilor LaRochelle is back on the Town Council and the purchase of this property comes up again.  I am concerned because I do not feel the people are being provided ALL the facts here.  According to Mrs. Barnes, the Town wants to purchase this property to put a parking lot on it to service the downtown area.  As you know from previous letters, I personally do not trust Fern LaRochelle.  This is just me and my opinion.  It is strange that the ONLY time this property comes up is when he is on the Town Council.
As I learn more about this property and its purchase, I will pass it along to the people.
Larry Fillmore
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