Bath OKs borrowing $9.8M for wastewater system upgrades

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BATH — City voters Tuesday approved a $9.8 million wastewater improvement bond, 1,061 to 332.

They also elected several uncontested candidates to the City Council and Regional School Unit 1 Board of Directors.

The bond will fund infrastructure upgrades and improvements at Bath’s wastewater treatment plant and some pump stations, along with infrastructure under some roads, according to city officials.

“I am happy the voters recognize the importance of this effort for the City of Bath,” Public Works Director Peter Owen said in an email Wednesday. “I have contacted our wastewater consultant to start preparing plans so that we can begin to implement the upgrades that are sorely needed.”

The bond’s life would be up to 22 years, with estimated interest of $2.8 million, bringing the total borrowed to $12.6 million, according to Finance Director Juli Millett.

Built in the 1970s, the treatment plant’s most recent upgrade was in 1997.

“It is time to upgrade and overhaul existing equipment and invest in improvements in troubled areas where the city has sewer capacity issues,” Public Works Director Peter Owen said in a Sept. 2 memo to the City Council, adding, “(T)his effort will keep the city compliant with state and federal regulations,” instead of getting behind.

“With this type of plant you don’t wait until things break,” Owen continued. “It is critical to stay ahead of needed maintenance.”

The bond-funded work will likely begin next summer and take a decade to complete, Owen said Oct. 8.

City Council

Terry Nordmann of Western Avenue received 30 votes for the Ward 3 council seat, which has been vacant since Kyle Rogers resigned in June.

Ward 2 Councilor Sean Paulhus of Middle Street and Ward 4 Councilor Bernie Wyman of Chestnut Street were also unopposed for re-election, receiving 121 and 142 votes respectively. Wyman is serving his 21st year on the council; Paulhus was first elected in 2008.


Two new “unrestricted-residence” seats on the Regional School Unit 1 Board of Directors were also up for grabs.

One belonged to West Bath resident Kyle Yacoben, who had to vacate the post in June after his town seceded from the district. Louis Ensel, of Middle Street, ran uncontested for the seat, receiving 1,117 votes.

The other seat belongs to Stephen August, who has reached the end of a three-year term and ran unopposed for re-election, earning 1,165 votes.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.