WATERVILLE — City councilors on Tuesday will consider accepting $50,000 from Waterville Development Corp. to help build a riverwalk along the Kennebec River at Head of Falls.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the council chambers on the third floor of The Center at 93 Main St. downtown and will be preceded by an executive session at 6:45 p.m. to discuss a tax abatement request.

The $50,000 donation from Waterville Development Corp. is part of $300,000 the city raised locally to help match a $300,000 grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The council must take two votes to accept the donation and may take only one vote Tuesday.

The city put the $900,000 river-walk project out to bid earlier this year, but officials rejected bids received because they were more than what the city could spend, according to Council Chairman Steve Soule, D-Ward 1. Soule said Monday that the city plans to put the project out to bid again and officials hope they will be more reasonable this time.

“We hope to start building in the spring,” he said of the riverwalk.

The riverwalk will include a children’s play area, an amphitheater, a gazebo and a 900-foot long boardwalk with railings at Head of Falls near the Two Cent Bridge.

The RiverWalk Advisory Committee has met several times with consultants from Mitchell & Associates landscape designers, of Portland, on the plans.

The Waterville Rotary Club in 2015 donated $150,000 toward the project as a way to celebrate the club’s centennial anniversary. City Manager Michael Roy, who heads the committee, said earlier this year that the hope is to complete the project in time for the Rotary Club to celebrate the opening Sept. 22, 2018.

The city applied for a $300,000 grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund managed by the National Park Service and was notified it was one of three municipalities in Maine to be approved for grant money. The funds come through the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

In addition to the Waterville Development Corp. gift, Colby College donated $75,000 for the project, Kennebec Messalonskee Trails gave $15,000, and Inland Hospital, $10,000.

Meanwhile, committee members said at a meeting in June that they want to move the “Ticonic” sculpture on The Concourse to Head of Falls to be part of the project there. The sculpture was created by artist Roger Marjorowicz, of Whitefield, who died in 2015.

The river-walk development will include interpretive features, panels with historical information, a restroom and a lighted walkway. The rail and fence on the boardwalk will have features similar to those on the Two Cent Bridge.

The city several years ago installed water, sewer, electricity and parking at Head of Falls, which is off Front Street. The intention was to draw developers to the site and use part of it for green space and possibly an amphitheater, but that development did not occur.

However, the city in 2010 built a plaza west of the Two Cent Bridge that includes benches, an informational kiosk, a walkway and landscaping. It is a popular place for people to sit and enjoy the Kennebec River, walk their animals, hike and bicycle.

In other matters Tuesday, the council will consider approving a two-year collective bargaining agreement between the city and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Council 93, which represents city office workers. Soule said the union represents about 13 employees.

Councilors also will consider choosing Santec Consulting Services, of Scarborough, to help with Federal Aviation Administration grants for the city-owned Robert LaFleur Municipal Airport.

According to a letter from Airport Manager Randy Marshall, Jr., dated Dec. 19, the FAA has about $490,000 reserved in the airport’s capital improvement account and three projects are scheduled for 2018. They include grubbing and grading two parcels of land recently cleared of trees in future development areas and areas where transitional air space obstructions were identified; a wildlife hazard assessment plan required to be completed by 2020 by the FAA and involving a yearlong wildlife study; and purchase of a snowblower for use on the airfield.

Councilors will consider a request by the Planning Board to consider rezoning 94 Silver St. so New Dimensions Federal Credit Union can build a branch there. A final vote to accept funds from Colby College to buy a new police cruiser also is on the agenda.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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