GARDINER — The City Council is expected to consider several business-related requests, including a grant application for a hard cider company, when it meets Wednesday in addition to a scheduled public hearing and first reading of the city’s proposed spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year.

The council meets at 6 p.m. in the City Council chamber in the Gardiner City Hall, at 6 Church St. An executive session is scheduled for 5 p.m., and the public session is expected to start at 6 p.m.

City elected officials are being asked to approve an application to the Community Development Block Grant program on behalf of Lost Orchard Brewing. The company is converting a former Congregational church on Church Street downtown into a tasting room.

The hard cider company, which successfully completed the requirements of the business assistance grant it sought about a year ago, is asking for $83,168 in workforce development funds to reimburse the company for the cost of employee training.

David Boucher, president of Lost Orchard Brewing, wants to ensure those skills include both safe handling of food products and manufacturing as well as identifying and handling customers of the hard cider producer who may become intoxicated at the company’s tasting room on Church Street, according to his application to the city.

Councilors also are being asked to make changes to an option agreement they already have approved with Developers Collaborative. The Portland-based company is the developer the city is working with to build a medical arts building at 1 Summer St., one of the former T.W. Dick properties.

Developers Collaborative officials struck a deal earlier this year on an option to buy 24 Summer St. to develop affordable senior housing. Part of the company’s plan was to secure Maine State Housing funds to help pay for the project. For the 2016 funding round, the program is giving more weight to proposals that include workforce housing, and it awards points differently if municipalities take part via tax increment financing. Developers Collaborative is seeking an expansion of the option agreement to include 59 Summer St., where it is proposing to build a mix of affordable and market-rate workforce housing.

The company also would seek a credit enhancement agreement for 30 years, which requires a TIF district to be created at a future date.

The City Council also is expected to act on a proposed change to an existing credit enhancement agreement with Harper’s II LLC. The company owns the building in the Libby Hill Business Park that was leased to the Bank of Maine. Under the tax increment financing credit enhancement agreement struck in 2011, the company would be reimbursed for about a third of the property taxes it paid as long as the Bank of Maine was the tenant. Since then, Camden National Bank acquired the Bank of Maine and is vacating that property in the business park. The proposed change removes mention of the Bank of Maine and allows the credit enhancement agreement to continue for the balance of its term.

The council also is expected to consider:

• signing the election warrant for the School Administrative District 11 budget validation referendum on June 14;

• approving a foreclosure buyback of three lots;

• approving the library director’s request to retire in place;

• setting priorities for the Ordinance Review Committee;

• donating fire equipment;

• setting tax due dates for fiscal year 2017 and setting the interest rate and authorizing the Tax Club Program;

• granting special event permits for the Greater Gardiner River Festival, a weekly community yoga class and a community concert at the market; and

• making nominations and appointments.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ


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