WATERVILLE — The City Council is expected to decide tonight that an item related to the COVID-19 pandemic can be added to the agenda, an action that must be taken and voted on so councilors can address the issue.

Council Chair Erik Thomas indicated Monday in a message to City Manager Michael Roy that he will be making a motion to “waive cloture” to add an item that gives the city’s COVID-19 Task Force authority over certain decisions regarding the city’s response to the virus.

In the note, Thomas wrote: “We will have to establish guidelines for a mechanism for council review moving forward, but we can’t wait to have the council vote on every action agreed to by the task force in the meantime. The situation is changing by the hour, and we need to be able to react quickly.”

The text of the note was included in an email sent out Monday by Mayor Nick Isgro.

The council meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the Mid-Day Cafe at Mid-Maine Technical Center, off Messalonskee Avenue — a different location than usual because the Chace Community Forum downtown has limited access due to concerns about COVID-19.

An executive session at 6:45 p.m. will precede the meeting to discuss a real estate matter.

Roy said Friday that Colby College, which owns the Bill & Joan Alfond Main Street Commons, where the Chace Forum is located, is limiting access to all of its buildings.

“The city is hopeful that we can continue, throughout this transition time, using this room (Mid-Day Cafe) for our City Council and budget review meetings,” Roy said.

The original agenda for Tuesday’s City Council meeting included considering taking a final vote to rezone 3, 5 and 7 Park St. to allow for People’s Salon & Spa to move there from Temple Street.

The council took a first vote March 1 to rezone the Park Street properties from Residential-D to Contract Zoned District Commercial-A. Conditions of the contract include that 5 Park St. be used only as a beauty salon and spa, professional office or residence; that 3 Park St. continue to be used as two residential apartments; and 7 Park St. continue to be used as a parking lot only.

Also as part of the contract, any new construction must meet the dimensional requirements of the Residential-D zone and screening must be installed along the north line of the property. A compact evergreen hedge must be planted and maintained to attain a height of not less than 6 feet within five years and all landscaping must be planted within six months of adoption of the ordinance, according to conditions. People’s is owned by William Dangler.

In other matters, councilors will consider accepting a proposal by the Maine Municipal Association to help the search for a new city manager at a cost of $6,400, to be paid for in the 2020-21 budget.

The council will consider extending to June 1 parking passes on The Concourse for patrons of Yardgoods Center until other arrangements may be made. The current passes expire March 15.

Renewal of a contract with Waste Zero Pay-As-You-Throw trash bags is on the agenda, as is a request to lease space and additional office space as needed to Vacationland Skydiving, to allow skydiving operations at the city-owned Robert LaFleur Municipal Airport for the 2020 season.

The council is also scheduled to discuss police staffing and trash collection at mobile home parks.


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