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Lease for wastewater treatment facility parcel extended, rental fee increased

The town has agreed to extend the lease for the parcel housing Portland Water District's wastewater and sewage treatment facility on Spurwink Avenue another 30 years, to increase the annual rental fee from $2,500 to $4,000 beginning next May, and to increase that fee 2 percent each year after 2025.

The Town Council approved the terms of the lease extension at their meeting July 8, 2019.

The agreement extends the original 40-year lease due to expire in 2025. The last and only amendment occurred in 2017, when the district expanded some of the area to accommodate installation of an underdrain. This time, said Town Manager Matthew Sturgis, "they are looking to do some improvements on the site to help the long term needs of the facility." To secure financing the lease needs to last for at least the term of the note, Sturgis said. The extended lease expires in 2055.

The water district is looking to install ultra-violet lighting and upgrades to the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system, according to an agenda item summary from the district board of trustees' planning committee.

The rental fee is charged back to the town as part of its water assessment. Pursuant to the 1825 will of Thomas Jordan, by which the town acquired the property, proceeds from the lease are used to benefit the poor of the town.

Answering a question from Councilor Jeremy Gabrielson, Sturgis said the lease and fee update was an opportunity to help the land, once part of the town Poor Farm, to contribute to the goals of the Thomas Jordan Trust. "Otherwise we have very limited means for income to that fund, outside of just growth on the current investment," Sturgis.