May 23, 2019

Meeting to discuss water rates

GREENVILLE — The need for an increase in water rates will be explained to Greenville residents at a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1, in the town office.

Representatives of Wanakah Water Co. will discuss their request to merge the company with the Maine Water Co. and the Camden and Rockland Water Supply. If the merger is approved by the Public Utilities Commission, water users will see an increase in water rates of up to 111 percent. The final increase, however, will be determined by the PUC.

Many improvements have been made to the water company in Greenville, including the location of a new water source and a new reservoir. The company has not had an increase for more than two years.

Greenville selectmen recently voted to pay $900 as the town’s share of the use of expert witnesses who will act in the town’s best interests in the proposed water rate increase. Other communities sharing the cost include Skowhegan, Oakland, Camden, Rockport, Rockland, Thomaston, Freeport, Damariscotta, Millinocket and Newcastle.

In other business, selectmen will discuss hiring an attorney to represent the Appeals Board in a lawsuit filed against the board by the town’s Planning Board.

The Greenville Planning Board voted 6-1 in October to file a lawsuit in Superior Court against the Appeals Board for its approval of a variance in violation of state law. Also named to the suit were Barton and Lew-Ellyn Hughes who received permission from the Appeals Board to construct a garage on Birch Street less than 100 feet from the high-water mark of Moosehead Lake.

The two boards have been at odds for the past two months over the interpretation of Maine law as it relates to variances using the undue hardship criteria.

A request from the Appeals Board to be paid the same salary provided to the Planning Board will be discussed by selectmen on Monday.

In addition, selectmen also plan to discuss the closing of the old Sawyer landfill and the septic waste site operation, and they will receive an update on the progress of a hardwood panel mill to serve the area.

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