HALLOWELL — City officials have postponed a meeting to find facts about a decision that halted a Water Street sidewalk and riled up citizens.

The meeting, organized by the City Council’s Highway subcommittee, would have been held Thursday, but a new date has not been finalized.

Councilor Lisa Harvey-McPherson, chairwoman of the subcommittee, announced Tuesday that many involved parties could not attend and therefore the meeting was postponed.

Back in March, city and Maine Department of Transportation officials met with the owners of the Lucky Garden restaurant to discuss moving decorative rocks back in order to build a full-length sidewalk. The rocks were not moved, stopping what would have been a sidewalk ending at the boat landing.

A former councilor, Alan Stearns, said the decision defied a 2016 council resolution that allocated money to build the extended sidewalks.

City officials said the restaurant owners and the transportation department made the decision jointly. State officials said the owners and the city made the decision. Further, state officials said it did not pursue eminent domain because the sidewalk was an additional part of the reconstruction project funded by the city.

Mayor Mark Walker, who attended the meeting, was not interested in pursuing an eminent domain hearing, as it could have delayed the already-lengthy project.

Lucky Garden employees said the rocks were not moved to maintain parking space and city officials cited religious or cultural reasons for not moving the rocks.


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