WATERVILLE — The City Council tonight will consider spending up to $85,000 to repair and renovate the former police station in the basement of City Hall.

Councilors also expect to hear a presentation and final Charter Commission report.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the council chambers at The Center and will be preceded by a 6:45 p.m. executive session to consult with legal counsel on a dispute between the city and the Waterville Sewerage District. The dispute is about an annual $271,000 fee the city pays to the district for storm water treatment.

While councilors may not vote on the matter legally during executive session, they may reach a decision Tuesday about how to proceed in the matter and then make an announcement, according to City Manager Michael Roy.

“I think we’ll have a consensus about what the next step will be,” Roy said Monday.

The Charter Commission spent eight months considering changes to the charter, which serves as a local constitution governing how the city operates. Commission members recommend the city not eliminate or reduce the number of wards the city has — seven — and that the partisan election system not be changed.

A cover letter accompanying the commission’s final report and written by commission co-chairman Edward Lachowicz said many voters and commissioners think they live in a distinct community of interest within the city and don’t want that to be diluted through elimination of wards.

“Partisan elections remained unchanged (in the report’s recommendations), largely based on a belief that voters should be provided with as much information about candidates for office as possible,” according to the letter.

Councilors must take three votes about whether to spend up to $85,000 to repair and renovate the basement of City Hall. They may take one or two of those votes Tuesday.

Roy said the city’s information technology department would move from the first floor of City Hall to the basement, in a renovated space that formerly was the police communications center.

Also, the health and welfare waiting room in the basement would be expanded into the former police conference room.

“Most of the rest of the (basement) space would be permanent storage for city archives,” Roy said.

He said the city pays several thousand dollars a year to store finance, tax, police, planning and other records at The Center, at 93 Main St.

“We’re hoping to get away from that,” he said.

The information technology office is in a small office next to the mayor’s conference room on the first floor of City Hall. That room would become office and meeting space after information technology moves to the basement, Roy said.

In other matters, councilors plan to consider taking final votes to donate $1,000 to the Lac-Megantic relief fund being administered by the town of Farmington.

They also will consider approving a secondhand license for Lisa Kallgren, whose business, Modern Underground, would operate at 103 Main St. downtown. The entrance to the business would be off Temple Street, behind Main street.

The shop carries vintage furniture, furnishings and accessories, according to City Clerk Patti Dubois.

Amy Calder — 861-9247
[email protected]