WATERVILLE — On Tuesday the public will have a chance to ask questions or comment on a proposed tax increment financing district for Colby College properties downtown as part of a public hearing hosted by the City Council.

The meeting will not be held in person, so those wanting to watch it may go to the city’s website, waterville-me.gov. However, if people want to ask questions or comment during the meeting, they must contact City Clerk Patti Dubois prior to the meeting at 680-4210 or [email protected]lle-me.gov, and she will send them a link to join the Zoom meeting.

The meeting itself will start at 7 p.m. but will be preceded by an executive session at 6:15 p.m. to discuss a personnel matter. The public hearing on the TIF issue is at 6:45 p.m.

Two matters will be discussed regarding the TIF: A proposed amendment to the current downtown TIF, and a proposed new TIF, according to City Manager Michael Roy. After the public hearing, during the regular council meeting, councilors will consider taking a first vote on each TIF issue.

The council will be asked to make a fifth amendment to the current downtown TIF district and related development program. That change would remove three Colby properties from the current TIF District: 93 Main St., the site of the future Paul J. Schupf Art Center; 9 Main St., where the Lockwood Hotel is located; and 20 Main St., the former Waterville Hardware property and future Arts Collaborative.

The council also will be asked Tuesday to create a new TIF district and related development plan for those three properties.

The council must take two votes on both items and may take only one vote Tuesday.

Roy said Monday that money to be realized from the new TIF, if it is approved, could be used for downtown needs, including for paying off a loan the city is expected to borrow in the next year or two to redesign The Concourse, the municipal parking lot in the heart of downtown. TIF revenues also could be used for parking management related needs downtown, including possibly parking infrastructure or meters, according to Roy.

“The TIF will allow the city to capture the tax revenues from those three buildings and have that money dedicated to certain needs in the downtown area,” he said.

In the past, the council removed other properties from the current downtown TIF district, including the former Lockwood Mill properties on Water Street and the properties where the Bill & Joan Alfond Main Street Commons and DePre family properties are located on Main Street.

In other matters, the council is expected to consider awarding a $9.28 million contract for the BUILD grant project downtown that would change the current one-way traffic pattern on Main and Front streets to two-way and make improvements to intersections, sidewalks and other public spaces. City officials recommend the contract be awarded to the lowest bidder, Crooker Construction LLC, of Topsham. Other bidders for the project were Ranger Construction Corp, of Fairfield, for $9.38 million; Steven A. McGee Construction LLC, of West Gardiner, $11.13 million; Maine Earth, of Hampden, $12.67 million; and Pratt & Sons Inc., of Minot, for $13.36 million.

“It’s very important to note that the total BUILD project is $11.2 million,” Roy said Monday. “The construction budget, however, is $9.4 million. The other $1.8 million has to do with engineering, right of way and everything else.”

The project will start in the spring of 2021 with an expected completion date of November 2022, according to Roy. Planning for the project started in the spring of 2015, he said.

In separate matters Tuesday, councilors are expected to consider changing the city’s zoning ordinance to grant three requests: allow a community ice rink to be built at 132 North St.; add rules for short-term residential units to the city’s ordinance; and change the ordinance for keeping chickens from 10,000 square feet lot size to 8,000 square feet.

The Alfond Youth & Community Center and Central Maine Youth Hockey want to build a $4 million-plus indoor community ice rink on city-owned property at 132 North St., but three changes must occur for that to happen: part of the lot must be rezoned from Resource Protection to Institutional Zone; the shoreland part of the parcel must be rezoned from Resource Protection to Class B shoreland; and the Institutional Zone must be revised to reduce building setback requirements. Two votes must be taken on the issue, and the council may take only one vote Tuesday.

The city does not have rules for short-term residential rentals now, and the Planning Board recommends the council approve rules its members developed. Two votes also are required for the issue to be finalized.

The Planning Board recommends the council change the rules regarding the keeping of chickens, which also would require two votes. The issue arose when Pleasantdale Avenue resident Phil Bofia requested changes be made because he thought the city’s chicken rules were too restrictive. He has been keeping chickens on a 5,000-square-foot lot, which is in violation of city rules. Bofia told the council recently that he was not aware the city had rules regarding the keeping of chickens when he put them on his property.

The council also is expected to take a final vote on whether to sell to Pine Tree Waste Services, a Casella company, property in the Airport Road Subdivision; rezone part of 435 West River Road from Residential-B to Rural Residential to allow Richard Breton of L/A Properties to build an access road for expansion of Countryside Mobile Home Park; accept $86,675 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for disaster relief; and hire a consultant to advise the city on solar energy issues.

The council also is slated to consider authorizing Roy to sign a four-month lease with Vacationland Skydiving for office space in the terminal building at Robert LaFleur Municipal Airport; buying a specialty service utility vehicle for use at the airport; and referring to the Planning Board for public hearing and recommendation a request to revise the contract zone on the city’s zoning map to allow for Half Pints Daycare LLC to be at 155 Kennedy Memorial Drive. Currently, only professional offices are allowed there.

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