WATERVILLE — City councilors on Wednesday voted 7-0 to authorize City Manager Michael Roy to renew Waterville Regional Communications Center dispatch service contracts for area towns at a 3 percent cost increase.

About a dozen people turned out in the council chamber on the third floor of The Center at 93 Main St. downtown for the meeting, at which Roy said he thought the 3 percent increase was reasonable. The last time the rate increased was three years ago, and since then a communications tower has been erected outside the police station, a lot of radios were replaced and other work was done, according to Roy.

“This would be the only increase for the next three years, because these are three-year contracts,” he said.

The communications center has provided dispatch services for Waterville as well as Albion, Belgrade, China, Clinton, Rome and Sidney for the last several years. The new rates, to become effective Jan. 1, 2018, will result in Albion being charged $5,518; China. $11,701; Rome, $2,730; Belgrade, $8,622; Clinton, $12,978; and Sidney, $11,377.

In other matters Tuesday, the council voted 7-0 to refer to the Planning Board for recommendation a request by New Dimensions Federal Credit Union to rezone 94 Silver St. from Residential-D to the Transitional Zone so that a credit union branch may be built there. The Planning Board will make a recommendation on rezoning and the council will make the final decision.

Councilors also voted to sell two small properties next to the bridge on Gilman Street to the state Department of Transportation for $590 and $500. Some of the land in both parcels is submerged part of the year. Innkeeper, liquor, food and special amusement licenses were approved for Jodi Langlois, doing business as the Chez Paree on Water Street.

The council took a final vote to accept $3,640 in drug forfeiture money, as well as a Taurus handgun. The money will be placed in the Police Department’s drug forfeiture revenue line.

Mayor Nick Isgro, who was re-elected to his seat Tuesday, read aloud a document proclaiming Nov. 25 Small Business Saturday and urging people to support small businesses and merchants on that day and throughout the year.

Ward 6 resident Todd Martin presented an argument for discontinuing the use of most plastic shopping bags in the city and said he and others plan to get feedback from the community and propose an ordinance to the council early next year. Martin described his efforts at cleaning up litter from Veterans Memorial Park and Head of Falls, where he said he found many such bags in trees, around roots of trees and some mowed over and shredded. He said such plastic at Head of Falls probably would end up in the Kennebec River and the ocean.

“Clean cities attract more people than dirty cities, and we need to be serious about this,” Martin said.

Roy announced that Thursday will be Amanda Esler’s last day at City Hall. The executive assistant to Roy and Isgro, Esler plans to work for her family business. Roy encouraged people to visit her in her office Friday, or to call or email to wish her well.

“She’s been a great part of our crew,” he said. “We’re going to miss her.”

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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