WATERVILLE — The City Council on Tuesday was not ready to take a final vote on a plan to remove three Colby College properties downtown from the current downtown tax increment financing district and place them in a new TIF district, instead voting to postpone a decision to the next council meeting Feb. 2.

New City Manager Steve Daly said the city is trying to identify what the revenues from a new TIF district may be used for and is working with an expert the city has used for years to make sure that when the TIF request is sent to the state, the city has everything in order.

On Dec. 1, the council voted 6-1 to amend the current downtown TIF district and related development program by removing the three Colby properties from the current district and placing them in a new district.

The properties in question are 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.

Colby College owns the properties but the TIF district would have nothing to do with Colby, which would not benefit from the change, former City Manager Michael Roy said a few weeks ago. He reiterated Tuesday that the TIF is not a “Colby TIF.”

Mayor Jay Coelho noted that proceeds from the TIF would stay in Waterville.


“It’s literally all for the city of Waterville — every single penny of it,” he said.

Tax increment financing is a program that allows cities and towns to shield new value from developments from tax calculations to preserve the amount of state aid for education and revenue sharing the city receives from state government, saving residents money.

Money generated from the new TIF may be used for downtown needs as it will allow the city to capture tax revenues from the buildings and dedicate the money for that purpose. Roy said the city has not yet identified what the funds will be used for. He said recently that the city could possibly use the funds to pay back money the city is expected to borrow in the next year or so to redesign The Concourse, the large municipal parking lot downtown. Revenues also could possibly be used for parking management needs downtown, including parking infrastructure or meters.

The council voted 7-0 Tuesday to appoint April Chiriboga to the Planning Board to replace Paul Lussier, who resigned. Chiriboga said she and her husband, Josh, work in the biology department at Colby and her background is in forestry, global change and sustainability.

“I do hope that my ability and appetite for doing research and familiarity with forestry topics can be useful to the Planning Board,” Chiriboga said.

She also said her father is a home developer and she has had many opportunities in her life to hear perspectives from real estate lawyers.


“I have a lot of different perspectives as far as how cities grow and what is good and what works,” she said.

Daly has been on the job seven days. He said he is meeting individually with city staff and councilors this week and next, and noted that they all had learned a lot about him when he interviewed for the position and he is looking forward to doing so with each of them.

“The team that I’m taking the leadership position with is already showing itself as astounding, and I’m looking forward to working with them all,” Daly said.

“You inherited some really, really good staff,” Coelho replied.

The council Tuesday also voted:

• 7-0 to revise conditions of the Contract Zoned District/Commercial-A Zone to allow for Half-Pints Daycare to open at 155 Kennedy Memorial Drive.

• 7-0 to refer to the Planning Board a request to revise the zoning ordinance to allow truck maintenance at the Airport Industrial District.

• 7-0 to support the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Working Communities Challenge Initiative and associated grant opportunities. The multiyear community planning initiative supports local teams working together to improve economic conditions for people in the North and South ends of the city and downtown. The city could be awarded up to $400,000 for the design and implementation phases of the grant.

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