WATERVILLE — A sculpture on The Concourse that, like many works of art, draws both admiration and disdain will be moved to Head of Falls, as the City Council on Tuesday voted 6-0 to transfer $15,000 from one city account to another to fund the move.

The sculpture, “The Ticonic,” is scheduled for relocation as work starts on the $1.5 million RiverWalk project on the waterfront. The sculpture is part of the RiverWalk design plan.

The move, which will be funded from the public works equipment account, could cost less than $15,000, according to City Manager Michael Roy. He said The Cote Corp., of Auburn, will help public works employees relocate the sculpture.

Roy said Wednesday that on Thursday, public works employees will excavate around the sculpture to look at its base, but the sculpture will not actually be moved then. Roy has said he expects it to be moved sometime before June 1.

City officials plan to replace “The Ticonic” with something else on The Concourse, but it has not yet been decided what that will be.

Roy acknowledged at Tuesday’s council meeting that large trucks have become stuck on The Concourse while trying to maneuver around the sculpture.

“We’re not going to have anything there that a truck is going to get stuck there,” he said.

In response to questions about whether the road through The Concourse will be removed or made straighter, making it easier for drivers to get through, Roy said it would not.

“You don’t want a straightaway, which is why it was put there in the first place,” he said of the sculpture and curved roadway.

The city paid $80,000 for the sculpture, which was designed and built by artist Roger Majorowicz in his North Whitefield studio. It was installed Nov. 13, 1997, on The Concourse and 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.

The sculpture turns on a hub turntable, inspired by the turntable of the train yards, according to the artist. The geometric temple form symbolizes a city on the upswing with awareness of global concern (the pylon thrust form), Majorowicz said many years ago.

“Within the composition, the large diagonal form represents the waterfalls, 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 also voted 6-0 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 voted 6-0 to accept donations for the RiverWalk project. Councilors on April 3 voted 6-0 to award a $1.18 million contract to Gordon Contracting Inc., of Sangerville, for the RiverWalk project, designed by Mitchell & Associates landscape designers, of Portland.

The council Tuesday voted 6-0 to take $40,000 from the Lockwood Mills (Hathaway) tax increment financing account to improve and pave a city-owned lot where the former Elden Inn was located off Main Street downtown. The lot is across the street from Mainely Brews.

The council also voted 6-0 to approve a sex offender registry restriction.

Councilors took a first vote to spend $25,000 from the downtown TIF account to support the business and career services offices at Waterville Public Library, and a first vote to accept a Harold Alfond Foundation grant of $570,000 to repair Alfond Municipal Pool on North Street.

Council Chairman Steve Soule, D-Ward 1, was absent from the meeting.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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