The Hallowell City Council plans to discuss the continuing negotiations about moving the historic Dummer House to make room for a new city parking lot during its meeting Tuesday at City Hall.

City officials would like the project completed and the new parking lot built before next year’s Water Street reconstruction project begins.

Current plans call for the relocation of the Dummer House, built in 1792 by Nathaniel Dummer, to an adjacent lot that would clear space the city hopes would ease parking concerns during the reconstruction project scheduled to begin in April 2018.

The lack of ample parking on and near downtown Hallowell has been something residents and business owners have been lamenting for years. Hallowell voters approved a $2.36 million bond package in late April that included $300,000 for improvements to Central Street parking, and that money will go a long way toward converting the former Dummer House parcel into a parking lot.

Linda Bean, the granddaughter of L.L. Bean’s founder, owns the Dummer House and land bordered by Second and Central streets and has reached a memorandum of understanding with the city to move the Dummer house and sell the remaining property to Hallowell. Bean will continue to own the house when it moves to its new location — on the corner of Second and Central streets — and Preservation Timber Framing in Berwick will handle the move and the rehabilitation of the historic building.

“We have a layout of all the moving parts, and there are many before the project can move forward,” City Manager Nate Rudy said. “We’re having these conversations on a very tight time frame.”

Rudy said he’ll update councilors during the meeting on where the negotiations stand and ask for any last guidance from the council on how to proceed. He hopes council will instruct him to proceed with negotiations toward a purchase-and-sale agreement for the adjacent lots.

“The money allocated in the bond allows for the acquisition of property and the construction of the new parking area,” Rudy said. “The fine points and details are still being worked out.”

The city manager said the project, including the construction of a new municipal parking lot, would be completed by the end of the year. Rudy said it’d be important to have the entrances and exits to the parking lots established, and when construction on Water Street begins in April, additional parking will be available.

“The planning and scheduling and negotiating is about 80 percent of the work as far as the city is concerned,” Rudy said. Rudy said a 30-space, asphalt parking lot cannot be built for $300,000, so the city will have to be creative in finding cost-effective ways to add spaces during the construction project and beyond.

Nathaniel Dummer was a veteran of the American Revolution and one of Hallowell’s early civic leaders. He served as the town’s first postmaster from 1794 to 1802 and was a judge on the Court of Common Pleas in Kennebec County. He died in Hallowell in 1815 at age 60.

In other business, the council expects to:

• get an update from the Down With the Crown committee on efforts to promote downtown Hallowell during the Water Street reconstruction.

• review ordinance language to permanently eliminate parking on Central Street on the southwest corner of Second and Central streets

• consider the final purchase approval for new digital radios for the city’s Fire Department

• consider the final purchase approval for a new police cruiser, which Rudy said should cost around $32,000.

Jason Pafundi — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @jasonpafundiKJ


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