WATERVILLE — Though the approval of a tax increment financing district for the Lockwood Mills development project dominated Tuesday’s City Council meeting, officials signed off on a handful of other projects as well, including one that could be a “game-changer” for Quarry Road Trails.

The six councilors took a final vote to accept a $70,000 grant to hire a full-time program director for Quarry Road Recreation Area. Though the job will be a city position under the Parks and Recreation Department, the approximately $40,000 annual salary will be funded in the future by money raised through the Friends of Quarry Road.

Matt Skehan, Parks and Recreation director, previously told the Morning Sentinel that the role “could be a game-changing situation for the venue.”

“This position allows us to explore more programs, more events, more partnerships and bring it to a level I think it could be and should be,” he said after the first successful vote on the grant July 16.

Quarry Road Recreation Area is open year-round and offers over 6 miles of biking, hiking, snowshoeing and Nordic ski trails, as well as a small slope maintained with a snow machine for downhill skiing and sledding.

Also Tuesday, the council authorized a $286,000 road improvement project on the southern side of Water Street, where the Kennebec Sanitary Treatment District and the Waterville Sewerage District are located.


Waterville Mayor Nick Isgro noted that City Engineer Nick Champagne skillfully negotiated with the two utilities to lower the cost of the project for the city. The Sanitary Treatment District will contribute $150,000 to the project, while the Sewerage District will add $50,000. That leaves Waterville to cover about $86,000, which will come out of the public works budget. The city will also “provide labor, equipment and materials necessary to complete the project,” according to the order.

The council unanimously approved the purchase of a command vehicle for the Fire Department by way of a resolution that needed only one vote. The vehicle, a 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe with four-wheel drive, costs $38,926. Outfitting the car with the proper equipment — including lights, radios, medical gear and a fire extinguisher — will cost an additional $26,000, according to Chief Shawn Esler.

In another one-off resolution, the officials granted a liquor license to The Elm, a new performance venue at the old American Legion Building at 21 College Ave.

The council took a first vote, 6-0, Tuesday to accept a $12,783 grant from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance. The grant, called the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant, must be used to purchase law enforcement equipment and technology, according to Roy, who said the city has received this grant for the last five or so years. Waterville is not required to match any of the funds in order to receive the grant.

“This is federal money meant to assist the largest police departments within the county, which are Augusta PD, Kennebec County (Sheriff’s Department) and Waterville PD, to help with, especially, Part 1-type crimes,” Roy said.

Part 1 crimes include murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, larceny-theft and arson, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics website.


Councilors also unanimously agreed to accept $361 of forfeiture money from Devon Ayotte, who pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of oxycodone after a March drug bust in Waterville.

Both the grant and the forfeiture money require a second vote at the next council meeting before official approval.

During community notes, a resident voiced concern about the public works department cutting roughly $15,000 that it uses to subsidize recycling services for area businesses at SOS Recycling. The council previously ordered the municipality to cut $56,500 from its budget for the current fiscal year after the first reading of the then-$17.7 million figure. It left the specific cuts to the discretion of department heads, then approved the decisions during the second vote in early July.

Roy said, if the council wants to reinstate those funds, “we will find the money (to cut) somewhere else in public works.” Isgro said the issue will be addressed at the next council meeting.

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