WATERVILLE — The City Council on Tuesday will consider transferring $15,000 from one city account to another to move the Ticonic sculpture on The Concourse to Head of Falls as work starts on the $1.5 million RiverWalk project there.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the council chamber on the third floor of The Center at 93 Main St. and will be preceded by an executive session at 6:45 p.m. to discuss labor negotiations.

“The public works equipment account has surplus, so we’re proposing to use that money for the relocation costs,” City Manager Michael Roy said Thursday of the sculpture, which is part of the RiverWalk design plan.

The resolution councilors will vote on calls for transferring $15,000, but the move could cost less than that, according to Roy.

“It’s very, very hard to estimate the cost because we don’t know how deep the footing is for that piece,” he said. “We think the price will probably be in the $10,000 to $15,000 range. It could end up being a lot less if it’s not difficult to remove it out of its present location.”

Roy said it is likely the move will occur by June 1. Public works employees will do excavation work, but the city will need a crane to pick up the sculpture and place it on a flatbed trailer, move it to Head of Falls and lower it into place, according to Roy.

He said city officials plan to put something on The Concourse to replace the sculpture, but it has not yet been decided what that will be.

The city paid $80,000 for the sculpture, which was designed and built by sculptor Roger Majorowicz in his North Whitefield studio. It was installed Nov. 13, 1997, on The Concourse. It was dedicated the next day in a ceremony at which Majorowicz spoke. He died in 2014 at 83.

“The Ticonic” installation was part of an effort to revitalize The Concourse. Frank L. Woodworth Inc., of Pittsfield, was the main contractor for the work.

“Ticonic,” in Abenaki, means “a place to cross,” and part of the sculpture represents the falls on the Kennebec River at what is known as Head of Falls.

At the time he was building the sculpture, Majorowicz said that after studying and researching Waterville, he chose to compose a work of abstract forms to symbolize the importance of the city. In a description of the sculpture at the time, Majorowicz wrote that it is 33 feet in height and 8.5 feet wide and weighs about 4,000 pounds above its base. It is made of stainless steel, aluminum, bronze, steel, granite and concrete.

“I found Waterville to be a ‘hub city,’ central to the state of Maine,” he said. “The sculpture turns on a hub turntable, inspired by the turntable of the train yards. Waterville is on the move — the geometric temple form symbolizes a city on the upswing with awareness of global concern (the pylon thrust form). Within the composition, the large diagonal form represents the water falls, the three wheels were inspired by the history of trains in Waterville. The three vertical pole forms might remind you of the stacks from the paper mills. I have selected an all over silver finish and surface treatment to represent the swirling movement of water in the river and falls. The sunlight on these forms should reflect much as sunlight on water. My intent was to unify these forms into a provocative composition to stimulate the eye and mind and be special and unique to the city of Waterville — a modern, moving city.”

On Tuesday, councilors will consider taking a final vote to use up to $300,000 from tax increment financing accounts to help fund the RiverWalk. The council on April 3 voted 6-0 to take a first vote on that amount to help fund the Head of Falls project, which will include a 900-foot boardwalk along the Kennebec River, a gazebo, a large children’s play area, art installations and landscaping.

The $300,000 would be taken from the downtown TIF account and the student apartment complex TIF account over a three-year period in increments of $100,000 a year.

The council on Tuesday also will consider taking a final vote to accept donations for the RiverWalk project after having taken a first vote on it, also on April 3.

By Thursday, all but $221,680 had been raised toward the RiverWalk, according to Roy.

The student apartment complex Colby College is building downtown is expected to generate $65,000 beginning in the 2018-19 tax year. A minimum of $35,000 is expected to be generated in the larger downtown TIF account, according to city officials.

Councilors on April 3 voted 6-0 to award a $1.18 million contract to Gordon Contracting Inc., of Sangerville, for the RiverWalk project.

Roy and Lisa Hallee are co-leaders of the RiverWalk Advisory Committee, which has raised the money for the project.

Work on the RiverWalk is expected to start next month and be completed in September in time for a Sept. 29 dedication.

Mitchell & Associates landscape designers, of Portland, designed the RiverWalk.

In other matters Tuesday, the council will consider appropriating around $40,000 to improve a city-owned lot where the former Elden Inn was located off Main Street downtown.

The council also will consider appropriating about $15,000 to put toward the purchase of a utility pickup truck with a plow to replace a truck that was in an accident while plowing at the municipal airport, according to Roy. The insurance settlement from the accident did not yield enough money to buy the truck.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

filed under:

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.