For more than a decade, nearly 54 acres on the Stevens School campus sat idle as the state put it up for sale, only to find no takers.

Last month, developer and builder Matt Morrill bought those acres and the buildings that stand on them and will present his initial thoughts about the property during a special City Council meeting at 6 p.m. Monday.

Mayor Mark Walker said the city has asked Morrill, who paid just $215,000 for the property, what he would like from the city along with his current thinking about use of the property and the timeline for development. Walker said he wonders whether Morrill will start redeveloping the 54-acre campus this summer, and Walker said the city would have to change some ordinances in connection with any redevelopment.

In an email after the sale was made public last month, Morrill, of Grand View Log and Timber Frames in Winthrop, said Hallowell is a “cool little city” and the “property deserves new life that will benefit the whole community.” He said it’s a complex site that presents significant challenges and will require time and cooperation from both local and state agencies.

Also Monday, the council will get an update on the search for a new city manager.

The city has been looking for a permanent city manager since the unexpected death of Stefan Pakulski in March, and the search process is winding down, according to Councilor Kate DuFour, chairwoman of the personnel committee.

DuFour said the city received 16 applications by the April 15 deadline, and the five-member search committee whittled the list down to six candidates for initial interviews. DuFour said four of the candidates still are being considered, but only one will have a second interview.

“The results of that interview will decide the next steps,” DuFour said in an email Thursday. “Either we enter into contract negotiations with the leading candidate or undertake another round of interviews.”

DuFour said each candidate demonstrated an overall knowledge of, interest in and passion for municipal government service, especially with respect to Hallowell.

“As we expected, the areas of municipal expertise and mix of strengths and interests varied from candidate to candidate,” DuFour said. “One candidate edged out the rest.”

Since Pakulski’s death March 5, Code Enforcement Officer Maureen AuCoin has been the interim city manager, attending meetings and handling a number of issues in relation to Stevens School, the Quarry Tap Room expansion plans and the demolition of a Water Street building.

The other big topic on the meeting agenda is the city budget, though Walker did not have much information; and the finance committee chairman, Councilor George LaPointe, did not return a request for comment.

Jason Pafundi — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @jasonpafundiKJ


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