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Letter from Director Shaw Regarding Fuel Island Bonding Vote

posted May 30, 2017, 8:25 AM by Town Webmaster
Dear Scarborough Residents,

Your ballots on June 13 include a vote for bonding money to pay for a new fuel island at the Public Works facility. The current fuel island is 30 years old and the underground storage tanks need to be removed by order of the Maine DEP. The new fuel island will include above ground tanks with a minimum life expectancy of 30 years and will provide all of the gasoline, diesel, and propane used by all town and school vehicles. What you are voting on is how the Town of Scarborough will fund this investment. A yes vote will support the Town Council’s request to bond the money required and a no vote will require the money to come out of the Town’s fund balance reserves.

The proposal to move the fuel island from its current location to the Public Works site was introduced in 1997 as part of the Public Works Master Plan. In 2015 we began to study all of the options for fueling our vehicles. We looked at the Town’s actual costs for fuel from January 2000 through June 2015 versus the cost we would have paid without our fuel island and discovered that in those 15 years we saved over $1.5 million. In a 30 year lifespan for a new fuel island we expect to see close to $3 million in savings. This cost benefit analysis gave strong evidence to support planning for a replacement fuel island. Funding for planning, design, and permitting was approved in the FY16 budget and $687,482 was approved for construction as part of the capital investment section of the FY17 budget. The project has been fully vetted through the budget process; it was written about in the FY17 budget book and discussed as part of the Public Works budget presentation to the Finance Committee. This project was part of the final budget approved by the Town Council on May 18, 2016. 

Upon approval of the FY17 budget the fuel island project was put out to bid in an open bid process. Simard & Sons of Lewiston, ME won the bid, signed a contract with the town, and have begun purchasing the materials needed for the project. This work will begin this summer. The vote on June 13 will decide if the Town will pay their contractual obligation using bonded funds that will allow the project to be paid for by all of the people who benefit from it over the next 30 years or if it will be paid for using fund balance. The $687,482 you are being asked to support as bonded funds will pay for both the new fuel island and for the removal of the existing tanks and assessment and sign off by the Maine DEP on the existing site. The project is all inclusive and will not require the Town to come back to the voters requesting more bonded money for site remediation. 

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about this project.  I believe that owning and operating our own fueling station is the most cost-effective solution to meet the Town’s needs and that financing this investment through a bond is the most prudent approach.   If you agree, please vote Yes on June 13. Otherwise, please do not hesitate to contact me at 730-4401 if you have any questions.

Mike Shaw
Public Works Director
Town Webmaster,
May 30, 2017, 8:25 AM