WATERVILLE — The City Council on Tuesday is scheduled to consider increasing fees at the Alfond Municipal Pool Complex on North Street after deciding last week to delay voting on the issue to allow more time for discussion.

The special virtual meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. and may be viewed via a livestream from a link on the city’s website. Those wanting to participate in the meeting must register via a link, also on the website.

The council on June 2 postponed voting to increase fees for the pool this year, saying the delay would provide Matt Skehan, director of the Parks & Recreation Department, time to work on a proposed fee schedule, with input councilors provided that night. Councilor Claude Francke, D-Ward 6, said it has been a difficult year because of the coronavirus pandemic and recommended the city not increase fees for residents.

Others, including Council Chairman Erik Thomas, D-Ward 7, proposed compromising, noting the city has spent much money on the pool, and the annual debt service on it is $60,000 for the next 20 years. The pool has to move more in the direction of supporting itself, according to Thomas.

City Manager Stephen Daly said Monday that he supports increasing the pool fees, but the council will make the decision. Councilors did talk June 2 about possibly providing free swimming days or weekends if fees are increased.

In other matters, councilors are scheduled to take a final vote to accept a Federal Aviation Administration airport taxiway improvement grant and issue a notice to proceed with the work. Councilors took a first vote June 2 to approve the order.

The council also is slated to asks questions of department heads about their proposed budgets for fiscal year 2022, which starts July 1 and ends June 30. Officials from the Waterville Public Library, administration, assessing, finance, city clerk, information technology, engineering and planning departments are scheduled to be at the meeting to answer questions.

Daly said they already have provided the council with budget memos outlining major changes in their budgets and this is a chance for councilors to ask questions.

The proposed municipal and school budget for fiscal year 2022 is $46.6 million, which represents a $2.2 million increase over the current budget. But city officials have said that with expected revenues and tax increment financing funds, the tax rate of $25.76 per $1,000 worth of valuation is not expected to change.

“We’re using a lot of TIF money to support the ongoing services but also to pay the debt service on a $5 million bond project that is going to be used, 90%, toward paving streets and constructing sidewalks,” Daly said.

The council also will consider spending $5,000 to help keep a proposal to extend passenger rail service from Brunswick to Bangor on the table.

Daly said Mayor Jay Coelho testified recently at a hearing before the state Legislature about the feasibility of extending rail service and legislators proposed doing the first leg of the study in the upcoming fiscal year if municipalities affected provide $25,000 in the upcoming fiscal year, as well as $25,000 the following year.

“Jay (Coelho) and the Bangor mayor got together and Bangor is putting up $20,000 and Jay wants to put up $5,000 to get the ball rolling on that study,” Daly said. “The timing is important because of the legislative session.”

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