Balloons drape the entryway Wednesday to the Waterville Public Library at 73 Elm St., brightening a rainy walkway for library patron Russell Vescky after he returned books to the library in downtown Waterville. The library celebrated its reopening last week after having been closed for about 2 1/2 years. A proposal before the City Council would add 19 parking spaces for library patrons by changing part of Appleton Street to one-way traffic on a trial basis. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel file

WATERVILLE — The public will have a chance Tuesday to weigh in on a proposed pilot project to give 19 designated parking spaces to the Waterville Public Library by changing part of Appleton Street to one-way traffic from Elm Street to the Colby College dormitory on The Concourse.

A public hearing on the plan is scheduled for 7 p.m. at The Elm at 21 College Ave. The City Council is expected to vote on the matter during its regular meeting after the hearing.

Library officials have long complained to the city the facility’s parking is inadequate, especially for older people and those with children who must walk across busy streets to get to the library.

Cindy Jacobs, president of the library’s board of trustees, worked with city officials to come up with a possible solution: Change part of Appleton Street to one-way traffic and have 19 diagonal parking spaces along the street next to the library — designated for library parking only — from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Three parking spaces already exist on Appleton Street, near the library, and 16 would be new.

The project would begin when Main and Front streets in downtown Waterville are changed from one-way to two-way traffic — expected the week of Nov. 14. It would end Nov. 30, 2023, unless extended or made permanent by a vote of the City Council.

“The cost of this is almost nil,” City Manager Steve Daly told city councilors Oct. 18. “It’s the cost of paint and labor.”


In other matters Tuesday, councilors are scheduled to take a final vote whether to approve a proposed vacant buildings ordinance. The council took a first vote to approve the ordinance Sept. 6, and on Sept. 20 voted to postpone a final vote until Tuesday.

The proposal says buildings vacant for a significant period of time become a blight on the city and its neighborhoods, attract criminal activity, are unsafe and present a health hazard. They also are a nuisance and devalue neighboring properties, according to the proposal.

The ordinance requires building owners to get a permit from the city that includes contact information for those responsible for a building’s management and maintenance who are reachable 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Councilors also are scheduled to consider approving an adult-use retail marijuana license for Astro Terf LLC at 84 College Ave.; confirm mayoral appointments of Nate Smart, Brett Brockway and Bob Hussey to the Waterville Housing Committee; and waive the bidding requirements to buy two 2022 Ford Police Interceptor Utility all-wheel-drive vehicles from Quirk Auto Group of Augusta for $69,894.

The agenda item for the police vehicles reports there are no other 2022 comparable vehicles available now in Maine. The vehicles would replace one that is not serviceable and add a vehicle to the Police Department’s fleet to help meet patrol needs.

Those wanting to view Tuesday’s meeting remotely or take part may do so through links on the city’s website —

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