September 16, 2019

Rockland seeks federal funds after landslide

ROCKLAND — Despite the unusually heavy rains in recent weeks, the Samoset Road landslide has shown only “very slight movement,” according to City Manager Rich Michaud. The area has been closely monitored since an April 16 landslide claimed two houses and threatened the city road.

Consultant Dick Reynolds has estimated that a complete stabilization project could cost $400,000. The city has applications pending for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

First, FEMA officials must determine whether the Rockland slide is unstable. “They don’t know quite what to make of us. They are used to landslides in California, not Maine,” said Michaud. If the area is ruled as unstable, it will be less likely to obtain federal funds.

There is no indication what amount, if any could be awarded from FEMA. “We are hoping for $400,000,” the manager said.

The city is also seeking $180,000 for a comprehensive study by the University of Maine of erosion problems around the entire harbor.

If the money is obtained from FEMA for the mitigation project, the city will require permission from the property owners before work can begin, the manager said. City Attorney Carol Maines is working with the two property owners to obtain an agreement on access to the property.

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