WATERVILLE — The City Council on Tuesday will consider supporting a petition started by a candidate for the Maine State House that seeks funds from Colby College and Thomas College to lower the city’s tax rate over the next five years.

The council will meet at 7 p.m. in the council chambers on the third floor of The Center at 93 Main St. downtown.

Mark Andre, a Republican candidate for the State House in District 110, said his petition has about 900 signatures, mostly from Waterville residents as well as business owners and employees who work in the city. He will ask the council to join in supporting the petition and presenting it to the colleges.

The petition asks the two colleges to contribute the amount of funds needed to lower Waterville’s tax rate from the current $25.27 per $1,000 worth of property valuation to $18.95, for a period of five years. That amount would be about $15 million, according to Andre.

Since 2015, Colby has spearheaded several multi-million-dollar downtown revitalization efforts, including a new mixed-use residential building for students, and plans to convert The Center into a center for art and film that also would house part of the Colby College Museum of Art.

The college also partnered with businesses such as Portland Pie Co., which entered into a 10-year lease with Colby this spring and agreed to occupy space in the former Hains Building at 173 Main St. after Colby bought and renovated the building.

While Colby is largely tax-exempt, it currently pays about $43,000 in property taxes and has estimated that number will grow to $134,000 by 2018-19 with some of the investments downtown. Spokeswomen for Thomas and Colby colleges have declined to comment on Andre’s proposal.

Andre said the goal of the request is to bring Waterville’s tax rate on par with the tax rate of surrounding areas such as Winslow, which has a tax rate of $17.94, and Oakland, whose tax rate is $16.40.

In other matters Tuesday, the council will consider taking final votes to amend the public safety and parks and recreation ordinances and award contracts for both 2018-19 heating oil and a police vehicle. Councilors also will consider accepting a $38,096 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for firefighter advanced emergency medical technician training.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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