WATERVILLE — The City Council is expected Tuesday to consider approving a contract with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and decide what to do with money left from the construction of the RiverWalk at Head of Falls.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at The Elm at 21 College Ave. Those wanting to take part remotely may do so via links on the city’s website — www.waterville-me.gov.

The AFSCME contract covers 11 city employees, including administrative workers, executive assistants and finance clerks. City Manager Steve Daly said Monday the city has been negotiating with the union for about six weeks and the parties have met three times. He declined to give details of the proposed three-year contract ahead of a council vote, but said it is the fourth of five contracts settled this year.

The others covered police sergeants and detectives, police officers and administrative positions.

The city has a tentative agreement with employees from the Public Works Department, and officials are working out the language of that contract, according to Daly.

In another matter, councilors are to consider establishing a reserve account for maintaining, caring for and improving the RiverWalk at Head of Falls. As part of the vote, $179,427 in the RiverWalk Project Account would be transferred to the new reserve account.


The use of those funds would be used only for extrabudgetary maintenance, capital replacement and improvements and matching funds to grants obtained for those same purposes, including lighting the Two Cent Bridge.

Future unrestricted donations for the care of the RiverWalk area and all other revenue generated through its use would be deposited into the new reserve account. The city manager would be authorized to spend no more than $10,000 a year from that account, subject to all other limitations set out by charter or ordinance, without further City Council authorization.

Councilors voted July 5 to postpone voting on establishing the reserve account.

“They have to decide whether they want to transfer $179,000 back into the general fund or put it into the dedicated account to care for the RiverWalk,” Daly said. “The council back in 2017 or 2018 allocated $300,000 from three different TIFS to go toward the debt service on the RiverWalk projects.”

The $1.5 million RiverWalk opened in 2018 along the Kennebec River, off Front Street, and features a lighted, a 900-foot boardwalk; gazebo; large, interactive children’s play area; and art installations and landscaping, including trees and flowers.

Designed by Mitchell & Associates of Portland, the RiverWalk was funded with donations.

The Waterville Rotary Club in 2015 gave the lead gift of $150,000 for the project as a way of celebrating its centennial. City councilors also accepted $50,000 from the Waterville Development Corp., and that funding was part of $300,000 the city raised locally to match a $300,000 grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Kennebec Savings Bank donated $150,000 and former U.S. Sen. George J. Mitchell and members of his family donated $100,000. Other donations included $75,000 from Colby College, $15,000 from Kennebec Messalonskee Trails and $10,000 from Northern Light Inland Hospital.

Former City Manager Michael Roy and Lisa Hallee were co-chairs of the RiverWalk Advisory Committee that raised money for the project.

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