AUGUSTA — A proposal to discontinue Perham Street and part of Court Street to help make way for parking lots already under construction for the new Capital Judicial Center goes to city councilors for discussion Thursday.

The construction of the courthouse and the purchase and demolition of four homes on Perham Street by the Maine Government Facilities Authority have resulted in many changes around the court property and the Kennebec County jail, city officials said. A new parking lot for the court facilities is already under construction in the area. Also, the Planning Board has approved construction of a parking lot on the part of Perham Street from Court Street to the Kennebec County offices behind the jail to serve the courts, pending city council approval of discontinuing the street.

At their meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m. in council chambers at Augusta City Center, councilors are scheduled to discuss discontinuing all of Perham Street and the part of Court Street between State Street and its end point to the east alongside the court facility.

“It is effectively a driveway to their parking lots,” Matt Nazar, the city’s development director, said of that portion of Court Street in a memo to councilors describing the proposal. “The discontinuance of these street segments will result in the city no longer being required to maintain them and will result in the adjacent landowners — the county and state — becoming the parties responsible for maintaining them.”

The $57 million Capital Judicial Center, which houses the functions of the Augusta District Court, Kennebec County Superior Court and family court and includes six courtrooms, opened last week.

Councilors also are scheduled to hear an update Thursday from the city staff on several energy-efficiency upgrades made to city and school buildings over the last five years or so. The upgrades have included the installation of solar panels, such as those at the Augusta Civic Center and Hartford Fire Station, and conversions of all school and most city buildings to natural gas.

Ralph St. Pierre, finance director and assistant city manager, said over the last five years almost every city facility has had some type of energy-related upgrade, and those projects, their results and potential future projects will be discussed with councilors Thursday.

“It will be an update of what we’ve done and where we may be going in the future,” St. Pierre said.

Councilors also are expected to discuss raised garden beds in the city right of way, such as alongside streets and sidewalks. A city ordinance now bans such raised garden beds in city rights of way, according to St. Pierre.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj


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