LET THE DEVELOPMENT BEGIN.
What does the saying mean, When the FOX watches the HEN house? Look up the saying. Does the chaos ensue. This article saves the best story for last. This is an opinion based article.
As usual, Kittery is up to its old tricks. Smoke and Mirrors. A library that was supposed to cost 5 million is now up to 6.1 million. Yes, there were funds raised by the Library, but to what extent. Should the Taylor building which was once Library Property should have been sold to help the library. The committee at the time said no. Dineen’s old Law Office is the property of the Town of Kittery, as well as his old garage on Old Post Road.
If we are giving away Town Property then should Kittery think about the FOOD PANTRY. How about letting them have the Old Fire Department. Some of these properties are to be sold to recoup what we paid including the cost from fighting this for over 30 years to litigate that mess.
I asked the Town Manager a question based on a few resident concerns asked of me. This question was posed to the Town Manager before the article regarding the sale of the Taylor Building to a non-profit.
Madam Town Manager
Just a quick question since I am being hit with questions, Is the Library Project over budget and are you looking for ways to offset this shortfall.? I was told that the school was being involved. Doing an article on Ourkittery and want to make sure the facts are correct. Any information would help keep it accurate.Her response.
Dear Mr. Denault,
The Library project is tracking under budget; not overbudget. There are no shortfalls so there is no need to find ways to offset what doesn’t exist. The School has no involvement in the project.
Well there you have it.
Then a few days later, we learn that the much touted Kittery Schools Universal Pre K that was needed in Kittery has been postponed. Maybe we should look at how to fund this for the working parents. https://www.seacoastonline.com/story/news/education/2022/02/21/kittery-me-schools-no-pre-k-2022-23/6690966001/ Has the school’s budget been hit again?
I digressed: Onto the Taylor Building once owned by the Library.
What prevents the Art Association from selling the building when they can’t sustain the visitors and making a sizeable profit. Well within their rights of course. Why couldn’t we make that space available to local developers and entrepreneurs and made MICRO APARTMENTS. Should Kittery have sold it for the highest bidder on the market and let realtors sell it. What will the Town Managers explanation or spin be? The appraisal I knew about is over three years old. Would you sell your property with an appraisal that was over a year old? How is that effective financial management? Is Kittery in the real estate business now? It seems there are many things this Town can do.
I was recently asked, ‘Who are the people on the Taylor Building project and were any of them connected to the Kittery Art Association somehow? ‘
SALE OF TOWN PROPERTY
The sale of the Taylor building to the Kittery Art Association. An RFP was put out, but apparently only one bid was received. Is this is true, where was it put out and how?
Was this advertised well enough? Why did the people who expressed interest a year ago wanted to spend a million dollars for the building not come forth? (A local restaurant and property entrepreneur told me that is what they would have spent.) The Town Manager had meetings with these interested parties a few times as I was told.
Well, the Taylor building was sold at the latest assessment? ASSESSMENT? Did the Town mean appraisal? Who did the appraisal? Talk was that it was appraised a year or so ago at about $750.000. But I believe it to be three years ago. Let make the appraisal public and the date is was appraised. What would people pay since property values have soared recently well above assessment, and who who would have paid more for the Taylor building then it was worth. I suggest that many people would have wanted this building.
Again, Kittery has not changed. Bidding wars are not unheard of.
Remember that Wentworth Dennett School, it was given away (Sold) for $50,000 to $75,000 dollars and well below the market value. You can’t blame that sale on this Town Manager, but apparently the TOWN still has the mind set to give away your tax dollars. The Council while I was on tried to give away the Old Fire Department on Walker Street. for $45,000 dollars. Then it was to be sold at fair market value to fund moving the ambulance garage to Gorges Rd. fire department. Keep your eyes on this if you even care.
THE CLAM FLATS
The attached letter (below) from our Town is in defiance of the October 4, 2021 “Notification of Changes” issued by Bryant Lewis of the Maine DMR.
- What is the logic of this Town letter?
- What caused this letter sixteen weeks after the State ruling?
- What facts are the Town Officials responding to?
- Why now, after 16 weeks is it unlawful to dig for shellfish?
Once again it is easier for our town’s management to just say NO than go to work and do something worthwhile for the taxpayers! There used to be $2000 paid annually to the Shellfish Warden while the clam flats were closed (first closed around 2008 and never reopened). Could not that money have been better spent to seed the flats to overcome the impact of green crabs?
When was the last time our Town seeded any of the flats, or followed any of the four paragraphs of the Shellfish Conservation Committee’s job responsibilities? (if they have been doing any of these things perhaps it would be appropriate for the reports to be posted on the Committee’s website). The last time I asked to see the Warden’s State required annual report, the town clerk could not come up with it. Is it now available to the public?
While I was on the Council, I challenged the $20,000 expense spent annually on that so-called environmental engineer that couldn’t tell us if that money was doing any good as he didn’t keep records comparing one year to the next. I voted to defund that study. I may be wrong, but I think instead of funding the annual study, we permanently hire his technician. Was that a cost savings for the Town?
Another question asked of me by a resident for our out Town management: Has the recently appointed Shellfish Warden been certified as such by the Maine DMR ?, if so when?, if not then I assume he has no enforcement authority. Has it become customary to assign enforcement authority prior to training and certification?
Town of Kittery Shellfish Licensing Information
Per Title 12.6 of the Kittery Town Code, it is unlawful for any person to dig or take shellfish from the shores and flats of Kittery without a current Kittery Municipal Shellfish License.
The Town of Kittery is not currently issuing Shellfish Licenses.
The Shellfish Commission is working with the Department of Marine Resources to reopen the inter-tidal areas for shellfish harvesting. In the interim, clamming and other shellfish harvesting is not permitted in Kittery. When updates are available, they will be posted on the Shellfish Conservation Committee page located here.
For more information or questions on shellfish licensing, please contact Shellfish Warden, Chuck Moran at 207-703-4415 or email@example.com.
The State opened the Clam Flats and Kittery did not. A recent citizen asked, Is the Town Manager the shell Fish professional now? Does the shell Fish commission know what the hell is going on? Does Kittery even have a certified Shell Fish Warden?
FOREVER CHEMICALS IN THE WELL WATER
In November, as is told to the residents, (we have no reason to suspect we are not being told the truth) but Kittery discovered forever Chemicals in the well water around the dump and residents and Town Employees drinking this water.
- Why have you not heard more about this.
- Did Kittery use the same company that Well’s Maine did.?
- Why has there not been updates? Is Kittery hoping it goes away.
- What are the results?
- How long has this problem really been known?
- Has past and current employees been told not to drink the water?
- Pay attention to the PEASE issue and mitigation avenues.
Perhaps the Town Council should drink the water from the TAP at the dump until this is resolved.
The Harbor Master BOAT AGAIN!
We are now purchasing another, Yes another Harbor Master Boat again, which according to my sources, can’t go under the Spruce Creek Bridge. A Town Manager a few years ago, stood fast in not supporting the Fire Department in a portable rescue boat purchase. The old KPA was called out on their poor choice of buying a boat that can’t be used in the creeks.
The Harbor Master falls under the Kittery Port Authority, or does it? Are we buying this boat from Town Funds or perhaps we used the CIP or are we using Public Safety Impact fees? What is the definition of Public Impact Fee spending? FIRE AND POLICE?
How many Harbor Masters does Kittery need? Are there plans to pay for training for others to attend Harbor Master School. Shared resources perhaps.
How much controversy was created when the KPA bought a boat the was useless in some areas and the controversy when the Fire Department used it to save some boaters? Bravo to the Kittery Fire Department for using Town Property to save a life. They finally had to buy their life saving boat with donations. DONATIONS! Are you kidding me!
Oh, has anyone seen Councilor Cyrus Clark. Perhaps someone should let him know the attendance for Town Council is a requirement. He said during the Town Council Campaign that he does not want to run but will only do it to make sure Denault does not get back on. A politician who tells the truth, That is rich! BUT, how useful is Clark as an Elected Official in matters that impact the Town of Kittery? The Town may need his help on this next issue.
WHERE IS CLARK?
900 UNIT DENNETT PIT SUBDIVISION: SAY WHAT!
A proposal is on the agenda for the planning board. 900 unit subdivision in the Dennett Road Pit and based on my review and opinion (I know), it looks like they have to fill in the wet lands. What TIFF money is being used to assist. Was any of this money needed to lower the SEWER ABATEMENT FIASCO? Has that bill or expense been realized yet?
A day care, A Brewery, Convenience stores. No tad poles, fiddle heads, wildlife, such as deer, redirecting water to the back yards for the Martin Road residents. How are we allowing filling of wet lands? Is there a Marijuana Store proposed?
Where is the outrage. OUTRAGEOUS! 900 Unit development and if you multiply most will house two people, is 1800 people. It supposed to exit onto onto Rte 236. Perhaps the Planning board should make the 300 unit development exit the same way and share the cost relieving the traffic from Dennett Rd. Who is going to ask these questions? This is the same board that created Aroma Joe’s exit.
Here is the Agenda. Don’t tell me you “DID NOT YOU SEE IT COMING”
ITEM 2—98 Dennett Road and 27 Route 236—Master Site Development Plan Review
Action: Application acceptance, continue application to a subsequent meeting, or vote on sketch plan application. Pursuant to 16.6 Master Site Development of the
Kittery Town Code, owners/applicants 98 Dennett Road, LLC and c/o Sheila Grant with agent Hoyle, Tanner & Associates, Inc. requests sketch plan approval for a
master site development plan comprising 900 dwelling units, ±30,000-sf of commercial retail space, ±29,000-sf of medical office space and ±42,000-sf of lab/life
sciences with appurtenant road and stormwater infrastructure and 13,241-sf of wetland alteration on real property totaling 82 acres with an address of 98 Dennett Road,
(Tax Map 12, Lot 3-1), and 27 Rt. 236 (Tax Map 20 Lot 13) in the Mixed-Use—Neighborhood (MU-N), Residential-Suburban (R-S) and Commercial-2 (C-2) zoning
districts along with Resource Protection (OZ-RP) and Stream Protection (OZ-75-SP) Overlay Zones.
Maybe it is time KITTERY TAXPAYERS make the Town Manager live in this Town as they all did in the past instead of two States away.
I will end this article with this simple statement. Many of you got what you voted for.
Hold on to your seats Kittery, the ride has just begun!!
Much more to come.