A proposal before the City Council would add 19 parking spaces for Waterville Public Library patrons by changing part of Appleton Street to one-way traffic on a trial basis. Above, balloons decorate the library at 73 Elm St. to mark its reopening after being closed for more than two years. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel file

WATERVILLE — The public will have opportunity to weigh in Tuesday on a plan to create additional parking for the Waterville Public Library by changing Appleton Street to one-way traffic from Elm Street to Main Street.

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 public hearing. An executive session is set for 6:30 p.m. to discuss labor negotiations.

The council was expected to vote on the parking proposal Nov. 1, but the meeting was canceled due to lack of a quorum, the minimum number of councilors who must be present for the proceeding to be valid.

Library officials have long complained to the city that library 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. The proposal would change part of Appleton Street to one-way traffic, and allow for 19 diagonal parking spaces along the street next to the library — 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.

If the change works well on a trial basis, the council could decide to extend it.


In other matters Tuesday, councilors are scheduled to take a final vote on approving a proposed vacant buildings ordinance. The council took a first vote to approve the ordinance Sept. 6.

The proposed ordinance stipulates 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, are a nuisance and devalue neighboring properties.

The ordinance requires building owners to obtain 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 agreement with Springfield Terminal Railway Co. for the design and construction of an updated safety system at the Temple Street Crossing, with the payment of $77,000 to be funded by the city’s BUILD grant.

CSX Transportation Inc., which bought Pan Am Railways Inc., is requiring a new agreement with the city to fund the design and construction of a system that will mirror others along the rail lines, according to a memorandum to councilors from City Engineer Andy McPherson. Without such an agreement, the city would have to shut down all public access to the Head of Falls area or keep one-way traffic on Main and Front streets until an agreement is in place.

Councilors are also expected to consider the first of two needed votes to approve a natural gas easement on The Concourse; a collective bargaining agreement with the union representing public works and parks and recreation employees; approving memorandums of understanding between the city and National Fraternal Order of Police for the patrol officers’ and commanding officers’ units; approving adult-use retail marijuana licenses for Astro Terf LLC at 84 College Ave. and Bobby Buds at 109 College Ave.; confirming mayoral appointments of Nate Smart, Brett Brockway and Bob Hussey to the Waterville Housing Committee; and waiving the bidding requirements to buy two 2022 Ford Police Interceptor Utility all-wheel-drive vehicles from Quirk Auto Group of Augusta for $69,894.

Oaths of office are expected to be administered Tuesday for Brandon Gilley, a new city councilor representing Ward 1, and former Ward 1 Councilor Michael Morris, who will represent Ward 5.

Those wanting to view Tuesday’s meeting remotely or take part may do so through links on the city’s website — www.waterville-me.gov.

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