Parking in the Concourse in Waterville in January 2019. The City Council voted Tuesday to allow overnight parking in The Concourse when it is not being plowed while banning overnight parking on city streets. Morning Sentinel file

WATERVILLE — City councilors Tuesday took a final, 6-0 vote to prohibit on-street parking overnight on most streets from Dec. 1 to April 30, but vehicles will be allowed to park on the Concourse as long as the city is not plowing or removing snow from that area.

Councilors voted 5-1 Nov. 4 to take an initial vote to approve the winter parking ban. Matt Skehan, director of the city’s Public Works and Parks and Recreation departments, recommended changing the city ordinance dealing with streets and sidewalks to prohibit parking on streets from midnight to 6 a.m., from Dec. 1 to April 30.

He and police Chief Joseph Massey have said crews from the Public Works Department must call police if they cannot plow efficiently and safely because of parked vehicles. An officer must come to ticket vehicles, and city crews must wait for them to be towed before they can plow.

Three years ago, a similar ban was in effect, but the city decided to change the rules to allow people to park on the street when there were no storms, but apparently many people paid no attention to the rules when it snowed.

Councilor Claude Francke, D-Ward 6, said Nov. 4 that he thought the ban was a bad idea that would not serve the public. He was the lone dissenter in a 5-1 vote to approve the ban Nov. 4. Francke was absent from Tuesday’s meeting.

Councilor Thomas Klepach, D-Ward 3, said he thinks approving the ban should not be looked at as a permanent solution and the council should in the future look to find a solution that is workable for everyone. He said he recently looked at what other cities are doing with overnight winter parking.

“There are some strategies that we can come up with that may be fruitfully implemented,” he said.

Councilor Rebecca Green, D-Ward 4, asked if there was a plan for people who don’t have an alternative to parking on the street.

The council voted 5-0 Tuesday to appoint Green to the Ward 4 seat which was vacated by incumbent Sydney Mayhew, a Republican, after Green defeated him in the Nov. 3 election. She would otherwise have taken office in January.

Skehan said he and others met with Council Chairman Erik Thomas, D-Ward 7, last week, and they identified two areas in the South End that can be used for parking — the boat landing and Couture Field, a baseball field. He said there are between 55 and 60 parking spaces available there.

“It’s something we’re going to try. I think it will work well,” Skehan said.

He said he agreed with Klepach about investigating more areas, and he is open to exploring options.

Councilors Tuesday voted 6-0 to postpone until Dec. 15 whether to consider leasing city-owned property at 132 North St. to the Alfond Youth & Community Center so it can build an indoor community ice rink. The vote would enable the youth center to conduct a capital campaign to raise funds for the project, which is expected to exceed $4 million. The council took a first vote Oct. 6 to approve the land lease.

The council voted 4-2 to reject the appointment of Rod Labbe to the Planning Board to fill a seat vacated by Cathy Weeks, who resigned recently. Mayor Nick Isgro  had appointed Labbe for the position, but Green, Thomas, Klepach and Councilor Flavia Oliveira, D-Ward 2, opposed the request. Councilors Mike Morris, D-Ward 1, and Rick Foss, R-Ward 4, voted in favor.

Isgro said he found it unfortunate that because one councilor had hurt feelings from a letter written to the editor 10 years ago, a qualified candidate was not chosen Tuesday for the council seat. Isgro said it sends a “pretty bad message” to good people wanting to serve. It was not clear which councilor Isgro was referring to when he talked about hurt feelings. Meanwhile, the city will advertise for the Planning Board seat and take applications, according to City Clerk Patti Dubois.

Councilors voted 6-0 to authorize the city to buy seven ballistic barriers from Hesco Easton Inc. for $32,963. They will be used at the police firearms training range on West River Road.

They also voted 6-0 to postpone deciding until Dec. 1 whether to sell Lot 40 in the Airport Road Subdivision to Pine Tree Waste Services for $137,760. The council took a first vote Nov. 4 to approve the request.

Councilors voted 6-0 to refer to the Planning Board for public hearing and recommendation a proposal to rezone part of Airport Road from Airport District to Airport Industrial District to enable HEP Energy to build a solar farm there. The land is on the east side of Robert LaFleur Municipal Airport and abuts the west side of the former Runser property at 41 Webb Road.

In another airport-related matter, the council voted 6-0  to allow the city to lease Lot 6 at the airport to John Bartley so he may erect an aircraft hangar there, not to exceed 2,000 square feet in size.

Richard Breton of L/A Properties LLC requested the council rezone 2 acres at 435 West River Road from Residential-B to Rural Residential so that he may build an access road for the expansion of Countryside Mobile Home Park that would reportedly minimize wetland disturbance and tree clearing. The council Tuesday voted 4-2, with Green and Thomas opposing, to approve the request. The council must take another vote to finalize it.

Councilors  took a first, 6-0 vote, to accept $86,675 in reimbursement funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the city’s Emergency Operations Center disaster relief related to the coronavirus pandemic.  Another vote is needed.

The council voted 5-1, with Foss the lone dissenter, to table to Dec. 1 considering whether to authorize City Manager Michael Roy to hire a consultant for $5,000 to provide help and advice regarding the city’s purchase of electricity and the question of New Energy Billing Credits.

Councilors also voted 6-0 to issue a license to a registered marijuana caregiver, identified only as Caregiver 5, as well as issue a marijuana retail license to HIVE Medicinal at 210 College Ave.

Requests by Drip City Arcade Bar at 99 West River Road for food and liquor licenses were approved, as was a food license to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church at 60 Eustis Parkway. The vote on each was 6-0.

Councilors approved a resolution that provided for canvassing of votes and determination of the results of the Nov. 3 municipal election. The vote was 6-0. They took a final, 6-0 vote to sell 70 Violette Ave. to Run Yuan Inc. for $99,500 and a final 6-0 vote to sell 3 Abbott St. for $44,000 to Hassan Alavarabalnabi. The city had foreclosed on both properties for nonpayment of taxes.

Also Tuesday, Thomas read aloud a proclamation recognizing the election staff for their efforts in running a successful municipal and general election Nov. 3.

The proclamation says, in part, that “the successful operation of this most important civic function would not have been possible without the hard work and commitment of the staff of the City Clerk’s office along with all of the other city employees who helped with various election duties and tasks.”

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