WATERVILLE — City councilors on Tuesday will consider taking first votes to increase parking fine fees and accept $10,000 from Colby College to hire a person to enforce parking rules.

They also are scheduled to take a final vote to accept a $7.37 million federal grant for downtown improvements.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the Bill & Joan Alfond Main Street Commons at 150 Main St. and will be preceded by an executive session to consider two tax abatement requests.

Colby offered the city $10,000 for parking enforcement after downtown businessman Ken Vlodek, at a parking study committee meeting last month, expressed frustration that students living in the new mixed-use residential complex downtown park in front of his business, Yardgoods Center, taking spots away from customers of his and others’ businesses. Colby is investing millions of dollars in downtown. The city is planning for traffic changes and improvements, and when that is done, officials plan to develop a parking management plan for downtown. Colby also has offered to fund a study to redesign The Concourse, a large parking area downtown.

City officials say Colby’s offer of $10,000 for parking enforcement will help alleviate parking issues in the short-term. Police Chief Joseph Massey recommended at the parking study committee meeting last month that the city increase parking fine fees, and councilors Tuesday will consider increasing the $10 fees to $25 and the fine for parking in a handicapped parking space from $50 to $100.

Meanwhile, councilors took a first vote on Jan. 15 to accept the BUILD grant for $7.37 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to implement Waterville Downtown Transit Corridors, Gateways & Revitalization Project.

The grant is to be used to improve roadways, sidewalks, intersections and public green spaces downtown that will serve to divert through traffic away from Main Street and improve pedestrian access to and within the downtown district. Two votes are needed to make acceptance of the grant final.

In other matters Tuesday, councilors will consider voting to support a legislative initiative to name the bridge over Interstate 95 on upper Main Street the Specialist Wade A. Slack Memorial Bridge. A Waterville native, Slack died in Afghanistan on May 6, 2010.

The state Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Transportation is scheduled to consider the bill L.D. 39 to name the bridge earlier Tuesday. Thomas R.W. Longstaff, longtime state representative from Waterville who left office last year after his term limits were reached, came up with the idea for naming the bridge for Slack and said he plans to be at the council meeting Tuesday. The bill is being presented to the legislature by State Rep. Colleen Madigan, D-Waterville. Longstaff plans to testify Tuesday before the transportation committee in support of the bill.

The council on Tuesday also will hear a report on the city’s financial report dated June 30, 2018.

Mayor Nick Isgro is scheduled to read a proclamation recognizing the fire department and the work firefighters performed at a fire Jan. 29 at the Huhtamaki plant on College Avenue.

Amy Calder — 861-9247
[email protected]
Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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