WATERVILLE — City councilors on Tuesday will consider selling part of The Concourse to Colby College for $300,000 as part of an agreement that would include a tax break for retail use on the first floor.

Colby plans to build a student residential complex on the northeast corner of The Concourse at 150 Main St. downtown that would include housing for more than 200 students and resident assistants or faculty on upper floors and retail on the first floor.

Councilors are expected to discuss details of the tax increment financing agreement in executive session at 6:30 p.m. and later vote on the sale and TIF in the council meeting starting at 7 p.m. The meeting will be in the council chambers on the third floor of The Center at 93 Main St.

The council must take two votes to finalize the sale and TIF agreement and is expected to take a final vote Feb. 21, according to City Manager Michael Roy.

The council voted a year ago to sell the 0.77-acre site on The Concourse for $300,000 to Colby with the condition that if the property for any reason becomes partly or wholly tax exempt, payments in lieu of taxes would be made, due and enforceable in the same manner as real property taxes. But the order councilors will vote on Tuesday says the former order they approved a year ago would be amended to delete that condition and provide for the collection of future property taxes through a TIF district.

Roy explained Friday that while the retail use on the first floor would be taxable, the upper, residential floors would be tax-exempt. However, Colby would pay money in lieu of taxes for that part of the building and the details of that payment would be included in the TIF agreement.

“The city is going to get a payment in lieu of that part as part of the TIF,” he said.

Roy said the Colby residential project is a significant and integral part of the downtown revitalization project.

“This building is hugely important to the hope for vitality in the downtown,” he said. “Bringing that many people in downtown is a critical part of rejuvenation and revitalization.”

Colby has been working with the city on plans to revitalize the downtown and bring more people to live, work, shop, recreate and dine downtown.

Colby bought the former Hains building across Main Street from where the residential complex will be built, and it is being renovated to the tune of $5 million. The building will house offices for CGI employees on the upper floors with retail on the first floor and offices in between. Officials expect the renovations to be completed and the building ready for occupancy in July.

Colby bought the former Elks Lodge property on Appleton Street, which has been demolished and turned into a parking lot. The college also bought the former Levine’s clothing store building at the south end of Main Street, and a boutique hotel will be constructed on the site. Plans for the former Waterville Hardware block of buildings across Main Street from the future hotel are not yet set in stone. Meanwhile, businessman Bill Mitchell, owner of GHM Insurance downtown, purchased and renovated two historic buildings on Common Street, and Justin DePre and his father, Thomas, and brother, Tom, bought and plan to renovate two buildings next to the former Hains building on Main Street.

In other matters, councilors will consider Tuesday approving a property tax abatement — another matter they will discuss in executive session prior to the abatement vote.

They will consider appointing William Layton to the Waterville Public Library board of trustees and issuing a special amusement license to Waterville Elks Lodge and a food license to Jim and Leslie Parsons, doing business as Bolley’s Famous Franks & Gourmet Burger.

The council will consider taking the first of two needed votes to approve a request by Police Chief Joseph Massey to lease a vehicle from Central Maine Motors for $198 a month over three years for a total cost of $7,168. The lease would be paid for out of the police department’s drug forfeiture account.

Massey said in a memo to councilors, Roy and Mayor Nick Isgro that the department has four detectives and a detective sergeant, and because of the high volume of criminal cases they are assigned, he is considering assigning a patrol officer to the detective division on a temporary basis to help manage and investigate cases, and such a vehicle would be needed for that purpose.

The council also will consider accepting drug forfeitures in the form of gift cards and money orders totaling $14,124 to be used for police operations and authorizing the city treasurer to file waivers of foreclosure for two residents in the amounts of $277 and $362.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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