HALLOWELL — The City Council meets Monday to approve the next municipal budget and to discuss the availability of block grant funds to be used in connection with the redevelopment of the Stevens School campus.

City Manager Nate Rudy said the city’s finance committee will meet Monday morning to talk about the possibility of using Hallowell’s reserve of block grant funding, about $238,000, to help the construction of a low- to moderate-income housing development on the sprawling Winthrop Street campus.

Rudy said the city is considering an agreement with Mastway Development and its owner, Matt Morrill, that could provide funding for immediate infrastructure improvements that would ultimately support an affordable housing development in the next few years. Morrill bought the 54-acre Stevens School property for $215,000 in April and has said his vision for the campus includes affordable housing.

The committee, and later the council, will also discuss other forms of financial support for Stevens School that may include bonding or tax increment financing credit enhancement agreements.

Last month, the Council approved several amendments to the Hallowell ordinances that govern the Stevens School property, changes Morrill and his attorney, Tom Federle, said were necessary in order for Morrill to begin marketing the property to other developers and potential tenants.

Federle said in July that the state of the infrastructure and state of the buildings is daunting, and the process of financing the redevelopment of the property is a big hurdle. He said that’s why most developers passed on the project over the last 10 years, when the campus was marketed for sale by the state.


The council will also vote to approve the nearly $5.7 million municipal budget for the next fiscal year, up about 5 percent over the previous year. The budget includes about $2.4 million in expenditures and more than $2.8 million toward Regional School Unit 2’s operating budget.

The increase of about $211,000, or 8 percent, to the school district means the city’s mill rate is expected to increase from $17.60 to $19.00 per $1,000 of valuation.

Also on the agenda, Elaina George, who spearheaded the effort to put an Oxford House sober living facility on Town Farm Road in Hallowell, will give a presentation to the council on the organization and her goals for the city’s facility, which opened Aug. 1.

During its July meeting, the council briefly talked about a new Whistleblower Protection policy, which was referred to the personnel committee for continued discussion. According to the revised document, “the policy is intended to encourage City officials, supervisors and employees at all levels to report good faith suspicion or observed occurrence(s) of illegal, unethical, unsafe or inappropriate behaviors or practices without retribution.”

Rudy is also expected to update the council on recent talks with Hallowell Fire Chief Mike Grant. In a Kennebec Journal story July 27, Grant expressed displeasure with the city and several unnamed elected officials for what he called a lack of support of the fire department.

The city has held preliminary discussions with the City of Augusta and its fire department about contracting fire protection services, thus eliminating the Hallowell department. Grant said Hallowell’s department, which has 10 firefighters on its roster, is frustrated because the public “is hearing rumors and innuendos and not getting all the facts.”


The council meets at 6 p.m. at City Hall on Winthrop Street.

Jason Pafundi — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @jasonpafundiKJ

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