WATERVILLE — City officials and others involved in downtwn revitalization efforts are hosting a public meeting Monday to summarize what has been discussed in those efforts over the last several months.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the West End Room at Hathaway Creative Center at 10 Water St.

“It is the final meeting of the downtown planning process,” City Manager Michael Roy said Thursday. “That’s not to say that the downtown planning work will stop and never pick up again because obviously what is going to happen in downtown is going to evolve over a long period of time.”

City and Colby College officials, representatives of Beyer Blinder Belle, an architectural and planning firm from New York, and others involved in the planning process will be at the meeting to talk about themes that have recurred in prior meetings.

“This is an initiative that started over a year ago, so this is kind of the end of a year’s worth of planning, strategizing, with many, many different organizations associated in and around the downtown,” Roy said.

A separate study on traffic and parking downtown is being conducted, and some officials working on that project will be at Monday’s meeting, but a summary meeting for that purpose likely will be held by Aug. 1, according to Roy.

The City Council adopted a downtown revitalization strategy developed as part of a meeting held last year with Colby President David Greene, city officials, businesses and downtown advocates. The goal was to identify what the city needs to draw more people living and working downtown, attract new businesses and help support existing ones, enhance the local arts scene and build on what is there, and spur economic development.

A priority identified was addressing vacant and deteriorating buildings.

Colby later purchased five vacant buildings downtown with plans to partner with investors to redevelop them for offices, business space, retail shops and the like. Colby officials cite a boutique hotel as a priority and plan to build a student apartment building on the northeast corner of The Concourse downtown that would have retail space on the ground floor.

Businessman Bill Mitchell bought two historic buildings on Common Street downtown and is revitalizing them, and Colby alumnus Justin DePre and his father, Tom, and brother, also Tom, bought two buildings on Main Street and are redeveloping them as well.

Goals cited in the downtown revitalization strategy councilors adopted include:

— Increasing living spaces on upper floors of downtown buildings.

— Continuing Hathaway building development and improving pedestrian access from Main Street to the Hathaway complex.

— Making Waterville a regional destination for the arts, shopping and other activities.

— Examining the value of public arts installations downtown.

— Improving the physical environment to help foster long-term and sustainable growth practices.

— Helping to ensure longer-term business and economic growth.

As part of the separate traffic study, officials are looking at parking downtown, possibly reverting to two-way traffic on Main Street and improving streetscapes, including possibly widening sidewalks downtown.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17


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