WATERVILLE — City councilors on Tuesday plan to consider voting to remove two downtown buildings from the current downtown tax increment financing district and create a new TIF district for the structures so the owners can develop them to the tune of $10.5 million.

The council also will consider renewing City Manager Michael Roy’s contract for another year.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Bill & Joan Alfond Main Street Commons downtown, with the first item on the full agenda being a public hearing on the TIF issue. The meeting will be preceded by an executive session at 6:30 p.m. to discuss contract negotiations with four labor unions — police, fire, public works and clerical.

The Waterville City Council will take an official vote Tuesday on whether to remove the buildings at 155 and 165 Main St., to the right of 173 Main, which houses Portland Pie, from the downtown tax increment financing district, paving the way for a new tax district to be developed for those two buildings. Morning Sentinel file photo by Michael G. Seamans

Councilors on March 5 took a vote of support for the plan to remove 155 and 165 Main St. from the downtown TIF district. On Tuesday, they will consider taking an official vote to remove the buildings, as well as consider designating a new municipal development and TIF district for them and adopting a related development plan.

Kennebec Realty Partners, owned by Thomas DePre Sr. and his sons, Thomas DePre Jr. and Justin DePre, hope to renovate 52,200 square feet on four levels of the two buildings, Raegan LaRochelle, of LaRochelle Consulting, LLC, told the council March 5.

The building at 155 Main has two stories; the building at 165 has three. Plans call for an 11,000-square-foot craft brewery and 5,200 square feet of function space in the basement, plus a bowling alley, restaurant and brew pub. The DePres hope to develop 155 Main into office space on the second floor, as well as market-rate apartments on the second and third floors of the building at 165. A new roof and windows, as well as an elevator, are planned.

Justin DePre is a graduate of Colby College and the University of Maine School of Law. Thomas DePre Sr. recently moved to Maine and lives in China. Thomas DePre Jr. is a Brown University graduate and has a background in construction and project management. They already own properties in Maine and have renovated single-family homes on Carroll Street in Waterville.

Being in a separate district would allow the owners a longer term for such an agreement. As part of the TIF, the owners would pay taxes on the property, and the city would reimburse them on an agreed-upon percentage of those taxes, according to Roy.

Roy said Friday that two votes are required to finalize the removal of buildings from the current district, create a new one and adopt a related development plan.

The Waterville City Council will consider extending City Manager Mike Roy’s contract at its meeting on Tuesday. Morning Sentinel file photo by Michael G. Seamans

In other matters, the council, in open session, will consider extending Roy’s contract for a year. Roy, who has been city manager more than 14 years, said he is excited about what is happening in the city and wants to continue to do his part in helping to move that along.

“I think it’s a critical time, for so many different projects, and I think it’s important for the city to have continuity in the administrative environment, and that’s what I believe I can provide,” he said.

The council will consider taking a final vote to postpone a plastic bag ban launch from April 22 to Sept. 1 to allow time for a city board to hear an appeal about the Nov. 6 vote to approve the ban. Councilors voted 6-0 April 2 to delay the launch until Sept. 1.

City Solicitor Willam A. Lee III suggested recently that councilors pass an amendment to the bag ban ordinance that would delay its implementation from the designated April 22 date until September, after the voting issue is expected to have been resolved. Such an amendment requires two votes.

Residents Cathy and Jonathan Weeks, as well as Shaun Caron, are asking the city’s Voter Registration Appeals Board to look at 75 voters who cast ballots on the bag ban issue in the Nov. 6 election.

The appeal by the Weekses and Caron says they suspect the challenged voters swore an oath of residency and submitted no other proof of residency to confirm the validity of their oath. They say that oath is a statement of intention that by its definition does not meet the standard of proof required by law and requires additional evidence that the voters established residency.

The challengers initially took the issue to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, which dismissed the case and determined the ballots no longer are challenged because the opponents failed to file paperwork requested by the court.

In other matters Tuesday, the council will consider taking first votes to approve leases for the former landfill and Runser properties on Webb Road so that solar arrays may be installed there. The landfill property would have a 20 megawatt installation and the former Runser property a 5 megawatt installation, according to Roy. The solar energy, he said, would be going out of state.

“We’ll collect two forms of revenue. One is a per-acre rental amount for leasing the property, and the other will be a tax on the equipment installed,” Roy said.

Councilors will consider voting on an order for a preliminary engineering study to be conducted to determine an estimated cost for the second phase of renovations for the municipal pool on North Street and estimate the scope of work needed. Roy said the old slides have been removed from the pool and the new ones will be installed this spring.

Bids for city pavement rehabilitation will be reviewed and councilors will consider a contract for traffic paint.

 

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

 

 


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