Gardiner city councilors expect to pass a continuing resolution at their meeting Wednesday night because they won’t have a new budget in place when the next fiscal year begins July 1.

Councilors had expected to be presented with a consultant’s review of city services Wednesday, but that presentation has been rescheduled until their July 1 meeting, City Manager Scott Morelli said. The continuing resolution would fund the city for July and August at the levels in Morelli’s proposed budget, minus the county assessment, capital expenditures and donations to nonprofit organizations, he said. It would cost the city an estimated $1.7 million for July and August.

Councilors voted at the end of last year to hire a consultant to review the city’s services. The consultant, New Hampshire-based Municipal Resources Inc., is reviewing the city’s four major departments: police, fire and ambulance, library and public works. The review will examine the services’ cost and any alternatives to them, for instance, using the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement instead of the full-time city Police Department, Morelli said.

Sometime after the July 1 presentation, councilors plan to hold a public forum to get feedback about the review and about whether people would support changing or cutting some services.

Morelli presented his proposed $5.48 million municipal budget to councilors in April. If approved, the budget would increase property taxes 3.4 percent. When including the school budget, property taxes in Gardiner would increase 5.8 percent, representing a $177 increase on a median home in the city valued at about $147,000, according to Morelli.

At their meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall, councilors also are expected to approve a settlement between the city and contractors working on a project that involves replacement of a 900-foot steel sewer interceptor pipe along Cobbosseecontee Stream.


The embankment above the stream on Harrison Avenue eroded during a rainstorm in December while the exposed sewer pipe was being replaced. Because of the erosion, the city instead will have to build a pumping station near the area, Morelli said.

Mediation involving the city; the engineering company, Wright-Pierce; its subcontractor, Summit Engineering; and the construction company, St. Laurent and Sons Construction, to determine whether any party is liable for the erosion led to the tentative agreement, which won’t cost the city any additional money to complete the project with the pumping station, Morelli said.

Last year, the city received a $165,000 federal wastewater improvement grant to cover 30 percent of the $550,000 project.

Councilors also will hear a presentation from Nate Gray, a Maine Department of Marine Resources biologist, about alewives being unable to swim up Cobbosseecontee Stream to spawn each spring. The presentation is the result of an effort by a small group to increase the community’s interest in finding a way to allow alewives to swim upstream. The community group held a demonstration on Bridge Street last month to educate people about the issue.

Paul Koenig — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @pdkoenig

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