AUGUSTA — City councilors plan to meet Thursday to consider appointing a new director of the Augusta Civic Center and to recognize the developer who converted the vacant former Cony flatiron building into senior housing.

Earl Kingsbury, former assistant and current interim director of the Augusta Civic Center, is City Manager William Bridgeo’s choice to take over as director at the city-owned facility.

If Bridgeo’s nomination of Kingsbury is confirmed by councilors at their 7 p.m. meeting at Augusta City Center, Kingsbury will succeed Dana Colwill, who stepped down July 16 after 19 years at the entertainment, sports, convention and meeting center.

Bridgeo said Kingsbury is well qualified for the job and was endorsed by Colwill, other civic center employees and members of the business community.

Under the Augusta City Charter, the manager appoints department heads, such as the civic center director, with those appointments subject to a confirmation vote by city councilors.

Bridgeo said he has discussed the appointment with councilors in executive session, where he said the nomination got a warm reception.

Kingsbury, 52, has lived in Augusta for 27 years. His wife, Lorraine, is a teacher in Vassalboro. His son, Kevin, 19, is a student at Virginia Tech.

Also at Thursday’s meeting, Mayor David Rollins is expected to present a Mayor’s Recognition of Excellence Award to Cynthia Taylor, president of Housing Initiatives of New England, in recognition of her work restoring the historic former Cony flatiron building and converting it into apartments for residents 55 and older.

The old Cony flatiron building, built in 1926, is still owned by the city but was turned over for Taylor to redevelop into housing on a 49-year lease for $1 a year.

City officials struggled for years to find a developer willing to take on finding a new use for the old, distinctively shaped building overlooking Cony Circle. During that time, the city spent about $75,000 a year to heat and maintain the vacant former school, expenses it won’t have with the building in Taylor’s hands.

The flatiron, now dubbed Cony Flatiron Senior Residence, opened to residents last month.

Taylor and Housing Initiatives of New England also renovated the city’s former city hall into senior housing, creating the Inn at City Hall in 2000.

Councilors are also scheduled to:

• consider the first reading, of two required readings, of a zoning change to allow a parking lot to be proposed by Performance Foodservice — Northcenter on a lot adjacent to its Dalton Road facility, where parking is not allowed by the current zoning. Company officials said they plan to move their truck and employee parking lot to the site to free up space to expand their existing building to keep up with its ongoing growth;

• consider allowing social services, excluding offender rehabilitation, offender self-help and parole and probation offices, as a conditional use in the Planned Development 2 zoning district and;

• meet in a closed-door session to discuss pending litigation.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj


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