WATERVILLE — The City Council is scheduled Tuesday to consider rezoning the former Sacred Heart Church rectory so Ware-Butler Building Supply can use the building for business offices.

The council is also expected to consider approving the redistricting of four city wards to even out the populations in those wards.

The meeting is set for 6 p.m. at The Elm at 21 College Ave., beginning with a workshop to discuss the search for a new city manager with officials of Eaton Peabody Consulting Group. The council hired Eaton Peabody to help with the search.

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

The Planning Board voted 4-2 last week to recommend the City Council approve rezoning the rectory property at 74 Pleasant St. from Residential-D to Contract Zoned District/Commercial-A, with conditions including that if the building ceases to be used for offices, the zone would automatically revert back to Residential-D, and that the existing driveway on Pleasant Street be restricted to emergency use only.

The Planning Board may only recommend rezoning to the City Council, which has the final say. The council must take two votes on the rezoning request and may take only one vote Tuesday.


The issue has been controversial, with some officials saying the city needs housing and to rezone a property with a large house on it is not appropriate, particularly in a residential neighborhood.

Others say the vacant church on the property will never be used again as a church and if Ware-Butler is growing, it should be able to use the rectory for offices.

The council is also expected to consider taking a second, final vote to approve a redistricting proposal that would change the population numbers in four city wards.

The council voted 7-0  on Feb. 7 to approve amending a city ordinance governing ward configuration. City Clerk Patti Dubois said that following the 10-year census, if the population of any ward exceeds that of any other ward by more than 10%, redrawing of ward lines is required, and she is required to notify the City Council.

Wards, 2, 3 and 4 lost population and Ward 6 gained, so population in Ward 6 will be moved to the other three wards, if councilors approve the redistricting.

City councilors are also slated Tuesday to consider establishing a community resilience committee that would explore opportunities for the city to develop programs and take actions to provide a resilient future in the face of climate change.

They will also be asked to authorize acting City Manager Bill Post to apply to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Business Development Grant Program for funding of up to $45,000 to help pay for a study of Waterville’s recreation assets.

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