The wheelchair lift at Bath City Hall is one of three capital expenses for which the city could borrow up to $130,000. Alex Lear / The Forecaster

BATH — An ordinance authorizing the city to borrow up to $130,000 for a new generator and two wheelchair lifts goes before the City Council for second and final approval Wednesday, Dec. 4.

The panel granted the bond preliminary approval Nov. 6.

The city has estimated costs and is seeking bids for the three items, and should have final numbers by next month. Finance Director Juli Millett plans to use $35,000 that was leftover in several capital accounts as a down payment for the items.

A new generator at the police station, replacing a 31-year-old model, could cost $40,000, of which the city would finance $30,000. A 17-year-old wheelchair lift at City Hall could cost $50,000, of which $40,000 would be financed over seven years, and a 2002 Parks and Recreation Department lift could cost $75,000, of which $60,000 would be financed over seven years.

Bath had debt service of $26.5 million as of June 30.

The city did not fund the three items in its fiscal year 2020 capital budget, but has more recently found them to be necessities, Millett said. The generator, which runs the Police Department’s communication, phone and network systems, was thought to be working properly until it shut down during a power outage in October.


If the power is out and that generator isn’t running, “we don’t have phones, Internet or network,” Millett said in an interview Nov. 14.

In the two years since the generator malfunctioned during another October storm, “we’ve sunk a lot of money into getting it fixed,” yet it continues to fail, Lt. Andrew Booth said last week.

“It severely diminishes our ability to do our jobs, in terms of responding to the public in an easy manner,” he said.

Meanwhile, the two lifts have been functioning erratically and also require replacement, Millett said. City Hall’s lift capacity is 400 pounds, and Recreation’s is 495. The latter is more expensive, since it moves up two flights of stairs and around a corner, and the former only moves up one flight, she said.

The new lifts would each have a capacity of 660 pounds, the most available, Millett noted.

Should the bids total less than $130,000, the city would only borrow what it needs, she said. Extra funds are budgeted above and beyond the cost estimates, so she doubts the city would have to borrow more than $130,000.

Interest rates on the bonding have yet to be determined. Installation could occur in January 2020.

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