A lot in a traditionally residential Winslow neighborhood is now approved for mixed use after the council unanimously voted to rezone the site at the council meeting Monday night.

The ordinance to rezone a lot on Lee and Marie streets from high-density residential to a mixed-use designation passed. Steve Martin, the property’s owner, wants to put in a garage to house equipment from his contracting business, S B Martin Excavations.

Neighbors expressed concerns about losing a neighborhood feel during a community discussion segment before the vote at the Winslow Parks and Recreation building.

Adam Chapman, who lives near the lot, asked what exactly mixed-use means. Winslow code enforcement officer Adam Bradstreet said high-density residential is mainly single-family houses. Mixed-use allows a wide array of businesses including retail and dining establishments. A handful of businesses need the approval of the Planning  Board before breaking ground.

The Winslow Town Council meets Monday to discuss rezoning a lot, announce a new police chief and authorize the town manager to accept federal funds and to reallocate money to cover anticipated election expenses. Greg Levinsky/Morning Sentinel

“Based on those premises, my vote is no,” Chapman said. “It’s a residential neighborhood.”

Ben Stafford, another neighbor, expressed concern that properties could be torn down and land uses changed over time.

“It’s too many unintended consequences that come with rezoning on that,” Stafford said.

Martin said having the garage will decrease truck noise in the early morning during snowstorms because they’ll already be warm indoors. Martin also plans on building two more houses and a garage for his sons.

“I understand your concerns. I really do, but I assure you that it’s designed for our company,” Martin said. “We do a lot of things for the community, and it’s really difficult to start things in the morning when they’re really cold.”

WINSLOW JOINS DIVERSITY INITIATIVE

The council voted unanimously to join the Kennebec Regional Diversity Initiative, launched by Oakland Town Manager Gary Bowman. Town councils in Oakland and Fairfield also voted unanimously to join the initiative.

Before the vote, Phoenix Mourning-Star addressed the Winslow Town Council. Mourning-Star is a Waterville resident and owner of Results International Research & Consulting, a company that deals with diversity and inclusion. He is helping with the initiative.

Mourning-Star said the towns of Gardiner and Jay and groups from the city of Portland reached out in interest.

NEW POLICE CHIEF

Interim town manager Paul Fongemie announced Leonard Macdaid as the new police chief. Macdaid is currently the police chief in Newport.

District 1 councilor Patricia Ayer proposed paying Capt. Haley Fleming for both the chief and captain positions while he assumes both positions, as Fongemie is getting paid for his stint as town manager and as public works director. The idea will be considered at the next meeting.

A question was raised to determine whether the town manager hires department heads and the council ratifies the contract, or if the council also has to approve the hire in addition to the contract.

Council Chairperson Raymond Caron, who represents District 4, said the council will seek the counsel of town attorney Bill Lee.

“The town manager won’t have the job very long if the personnel decisions are not good,” District 5 councilor Steve Russell said.

OTHER BUSINESS

Winslow schools Superintendent Peter Thiboutot said the opening of schools went “extremely well,” and the new challenge is keeping with safety. Earlier Monday, the school board voted to follow state guidelines for fall athletics.

The Winslow Town Council also voted to:

• Use up to $1,902,000 of the general fund to finance sewer and stormwater improvements. Work on Benton Avenue from the bridge to Roderick Road will start in the spring.

• Authorize Fongemie to prepare a quitclaim deed allowing transfer of properties at 150 China Road for the amount of taxes owed.

• Allow the tax collector to sell 101 acres of tax-acquired property on Maple Ridge Road with an easement from Farm Land Trust and a minimum bid of $85,000.

• Allow the town manager to accept $97,904.76 in federal funding for the Winslow Fire Department from the Department of Homeland Security.

• Allow the town manager to transfer $13,695.70 from the contingency fund for extra costs of the Nov. 3 election.

• Sell tax-acquired property.

• Renew/extend liquor licenses at The Pointe Afta and The Two Cent Pub.

• Allow election clerks to help the town office with voting activities.


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