WATERVILLE — The City Council on Tuesday is expected to consider establishing a community housing board to look at housing needs in Waterville, and approving licenses for downtown eateries wanting outdoor dining this year.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., and is accessible to the public via a link on the city’s website — www.waterville-me.gov.

The idea of a housing board was proposed by Councilor Rebecca Greene, D-Ward 4, to look at the overall housing situation in the city, according to City Manager Steve Daly.

“It’s sort of a spin-off from the Boston Federal Reserve Bank application,” Daly said Monday.

Daly was referring to the Working Communities Challenge Grant initiative sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Waterville a few months ago applied for the grant but was not chosen. The grant would have led to the city’s receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars to help improve the area along the Kennebec River, including the South End, downtown and North End, with a focus on collaborative housing initiatives, place-based economics and improved connectivity between urban and residential neighborhoods.

Daly said a housing committee would look at housing in Waterville and identify shortcomings and possible solutions. While he said he did not feel qualified to comment on the overall housing situation in the city, having been here only a short time, he confirmed the housing market is “extremely tight.”


“There are very few houses on the market,” he said, “and those that do go on the market are sold quite quickly.”

He added: “There’s been talk about the need for workforce housing, for low- and moderate-income housing and for development of housing in the upper-economic levels, as well. The committee would try to evaluate, ‘Do we have the right kinds of housing stock in the right proportions, on the right economic levels?’ It’s sort of a self-assessment.”

In other matters, councilors are expected to hear requests from restaurants wanting to hold outdoor dining this year.

“We realize that COVID, and now the Main Street downtown revitalization, is going to have an impact on all these establishments, and we’re going to do everything we can to help them through,” Daly said. “We are working with them. We already have worked with people on Merchant’s Way on The Concourse.

“We’re providing barriers to block off the street so they can have a safe location for their dining. This year, we are going to use barriers that are much more attractive, and safe at the same time.”

The City Council is slated to consider an extended outdoor dining license for 18 Below, and an outdoor dining license for a new establishment, 20 Below. The restaurant, 18 Below, is asking for use of three parking spaces directly in front of the eatery, and 20 Below is requesting use of the sidewalk.


Opa, a restaurant on Main Street, is seeking an extended outdoor dining license, as is Amici’s Cucina, also on Main Street. Amici’s uses part of the left turn lane that goes from Main Street onto Temple Street for outdoor dining. Opa uses two parking spaces on Main.

The council is also set to consider awarding a $436,887 contract to Pike Industries Inc. of Fairfield, the low bidder for a reclaim and rehabilitation project on Eight Rod Road and Marston Road. A contingency of 10%, or $43,688, would be added to the contract, bringing the total project cost to $480,575.

In other business, councilors are to consider a request from Maine Eye Doctors at 25 First Park to lease 325 square feet of space at the former kitchen on the second floor of the terminal at Robert LaFleur Municipal Airport for the doctors office’s off-site billing and administrative functions. The lease would be about $216 a month, according to the agenda.

Councilors will consider approving contracts for information technology for the town of Fairfield and Kennebec Valley Council of Governments.

The council is also scheduled to consider approving a resolution supporting the Asian American/Pacific Islander communities. Approving the resolution would show Mayor Jay Coelho and councilors stand in solidarity with those communities, both in the city of Waterville and across the United States, and express their “unwavering commitment to combatting anti-Asian hate and discrimination by protecting AAPI residents of Waterville and holding accountable those who cause them harm.”

The resolution states Coelho and councilors express their “strongest condemnation for racism and intolerance against AAPI communities and peoples,” and “hereby recognize, celebrate, and honor the rich cultures and contributions of our AAPI families, friends, and neighbors.”

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