WATERVILLE — Work to install a traffic light at the intersection of Airport Road and Kennedy Memorial Drive will start in September now that the City Council on Tuesday voted 7-0 to award a $189,294 contract to AD Electric to do the work.

As part of the vote, councilors agreed that City Manager Michael Roy will be allowed a 5 percent contingency to complete the project if more money is needed. The total project cost would be $198,000 and funds will come from a 2015 bond.

“It’s nice to see this coming to this point,” Councilor Rosemary Winslow, D-Ward 2, said of the project.

Over the years, business people and others have complained to city officials that entering and exiting Airport Road at Kennedy Memorial Drive is dangerous, as vehicles speed by and it is hard to maneuver safely through the area.

In other business Tuesday, councilors voted to allocate $99,000 from the city’s Hathaway tax increment financing account for purchasing and making improvements to parking areas next to the Hathaway Creative Center on Water Street. The approval is subject to execution of an agreement that guarantees parking areas remain available for public use and that proof of purchase and improvement costs are submitted to the city. Another vote is needed to finalize the allocation.

Roy said Tuesday that it is a unique request because the TIF funds in question are city funds.

“The developer is asking for the city’s share to help with parking, which I think is a very important need that has to be met down there,” Roy said.

He said that if councilors approve the request, the money would go toward parking instead of any potential improvements to the intersection of Water, Spring and Main streets, for which the money initially was intended to be used. The request for the funds is related to the desire to make continued improvements to the two mostly undeveloped buildings in the Hathaway complex, according to Roy. Without adequate parking, the developer would not get the financing needed to develop those two buildings, he said.

The council voted 7-0 to award a $115,495 contract to Roof Systems of Maine to replace the City Hall roof. Roy is authorized to spend up to $125,000 to cover and project contingencies, as part of the vote. Money for the work also will come from a 2015 bond. Councilors took a first vote to award a $19,512 contract to Gilman Electrical Supply, of Newport, to supply parts and materials for completion of a lighting upgrade project on The Concourse. Eighteen light fixtures will be repaired or replaced as part of the work. Another council vote is needed to finalize the contract.

The council also took a first of two needed votes to rezone 30 Chase Ave. from Institutional to a new zone, Suburban Mixed Use, to allow apartments, warehousing and offices to be developed in the former Seton Hospital building. Councilors voted to vacate a part of Lafayette Street that was proposed but not developed, sell 5 Kimball St. for $12,103 and accept a $130,121 forfeiture from a criminal investigation.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]almaine.com

Twitter: @AmyCalder17


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