Lincolnville will hold a special town meeting to vote on whether to appropriate $190,000 to provide the matching funds for the construction of a $3.3 million wastewater treatment facility at Lincolnville Beach on Monday, Feb. 12, at 6 p.m. at the Lincolnville school cafeteria (aka Walsh Commons). The agreement between the Town of Lincoln-ville and the Lincolnville Sewer District would require the town to contribute up to $19,000 annually over the first 10 years that the Lincolnville Sewer District is operational.

In June 2017, Lincolnville residents voted to establish a Wastewater Capital Reserve Fund  (WCRF) and to fund the account with $25,000. The funds can be used, at the discretion of the select board, to support wastewater projects, such as the Lincolnville Sewer District (LSD), which anticipates needing assistance in covering a portion of its debt service as the project reaches full utilization rates. Lincolnville District trustee Jennifer Temple noted that the original intent of last year’s referendum was to provide ongoing funding with the $25,000 appropriation for the Wastewater Capital Reserve Fund  (WCRF).

“It’s not really a different ask,” said Temple by phone. “It’s just that when regular people, myself included, voted in the spring they thought they were voting for ongoing funding.”

However, Temple said that the USDA Rural Development, which is providing $1.6 million in loans and a $1 million grant for the project, needs a firm commitment that the town will come up with the $190,000 in matching funds.

“The USDA interpreted this as an unclear commitment,” wrote Temple in a memo. “So the Lincolnville Sewer District resumed discussions with the Town of Lincolnville to create an Agreement which establishes a town contribution of $19,000 annually for the first 10 years once the Lincolnville Sewer District is operational.”

Temple pointed to spreadsheets on the Lincolnville Sewer District’s website which show that the district would end up with a negative cash flow for the first 10 years. She added that USDA will cancel its loans and grants if the town doesn’t approve the new agreement.

According to the district, it has secured 94 percent of the $3,325,000 needed for the project, which is projected to generate more than $5 million in revenue over 40 years. For more information, visit www.lincolnvillesewer.com.