WATERVILLE — Two wastewater lagoons reportedly containing sediment and heavy metals are targeted for remediation this fall by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

City Manager Michael Roy told city councilors Tuesday that the city-owned lagoons off West River Road contain concentrations of heavy metals from the former Wyandotte woolen mill’s operation many years ago.

The lagoons are across West River Road from the former mill, which now is the site of Mid-State Machine.

The DEP, with help from the city, plans to drain the lagoons, put sediment from one lagoon into the other and cap them, Roy said.

The project, estimated to cost $200,000, will be funded entirely by the state, he said. “Why put it all in one lagoon?” asked Councilor John O’Donnell, D-Ward 5.

“I think it’s easier to contain them and better cover them,” Roy said.

He said that as long as the sediments and heavy metals do not have a chance to migrate, there is no danger to surface or ground water.

The lagoons are about 2 1/2 acres each and on 33 acres on which the city foreclosed in February 2008.

Waterville Industries Inc., a defunct Rhode Island corporation, had owned the property and had not paid taxes on it since the mid-1990s.

In other matters Tuesday, councilors voted 5–0 to authorize Roy to complete paperwork for a $234,900 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to help with design and engineering for reconstruction of the main runway at Robert LaFleur Municipal Airport.

Councilors also voted to renew liquor licenses for several city businesses, including the Bob-In restaurant on Temple Street.

Roy reported calls to police from the Bob-In were down to 98 for the 12-month period that ended in August this year, compared to 113 in the 12-month period that ended in August 2012. Also, the calls usually were less urgent than they had been during the previous 12-month period, he said.

The council in early January voted to renew a special amusement license for the Bob-In with the condition that owner Gubby Karter install security cameras outside the nightclub.

Karter said Tuesday he thinks that has helped alleviate problems. He was referring to fights that occurred outside his business after closing time, when spectators would call police. Karter told the council in January that few calls to police were generated from within the bar.

“I’m glad that you’ve been working to improve the situation,” council Chairman Erik Thomas, D-Ward 4, told Karter.

Karter said he appreciated O’Donnell’s visit to the Bob-In to check out the progress.

“It isn’t professional work,” O’Donnell quipped, to laughter from the group.

“I think I was still sick at the time. I  wasn’t in that night,” Karter said. “I hope you got an idea that we’re not encouraging any bad behavior.”

“No,” O’Donnell replied. “Nice and clean.”

In other city business this week, the Planning Board voted Monday to recommend that the council rezone 140 Western Ave. to allow for a bakery and delicatessen there. It is the site of a former Recreation Department building.

Planners also voted to approve revisions to a site plan for MaineGeneral Health to build more parking at the Thayer Center for Health at 149 North St., and to amend the zoning ordinance to allow for staggered terms for Planning Board members.

Amy Calder — 861-9247
[email protected]

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