This rendering shows a multiuse development planned for the intersection of Temple and Front streets in downtown Waterville that would include more than 60 housing units. The Kennebec River and Head of Falls are seen at right. The proposed buildings are shown to provide a sense of their form and scale, developers say, but design elements for them have yet to be worked out. The City Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing Tuesday on accepting a state grant to demolish the buildings now on the land. Rendering courtesy of Todd Alexander

WATERVILLE — The public will have a chance to comment Tuesday at a public hearing on a proposal to apply for a $200,000 state grant to demolish buildings at the corner of Temple and Front streets to make way for housing.

The City Council is slated to hold the hearing at 6:30 p.m. at The Elm at 21 College Ave. Afterward, councilors are expected to consider voting to authorize acting City Manager Bill Post to submit an application to the state Department of Economic & Community Development for the grant.

The buildings would be razed to create 61 units of housing as part of the Head of Falls Village development on a site that is slightly more than 1.7 acres.

Todd Alexander, vice president and partner at Portland-based Renewal Housing Associates LLC, which focuses on affordable, mixed-income and workforce housing, is developing the project with Northland Enterprises Inc., a real estate development and management company also based in Portland.

They plan to build the housing on land that is occupied by Universal Bread, Damon’s Beverage & Redemption, the former Bob-In tavern and Creative Sounds, and a former office building known as the Heath House at 60 Front St. that abuts Appleton Street to the north.

In other matters Tuesday, councilors are expected to consider taking a second, final vote to approve a new housing rental registration ordinance that officials say will foster dialogue and make it easier for the city to contact landlords in an emergency.


The council took a first vote March 7 to approve the ordinance. Councilors decided to postpone requiring property owners to register their properties with the city or face a penalty and instead introduced new language that asks for voluntary registration. Even so, the city’s goal is to get 90% compliance on registrations, officials have said.

The proposal calls for the city to be given telephone numbers for property owners or managers who would respond to emergencies.

Dan Bradstreet, the city’s director of code enforcement, said many buildings are being purchased by large corporations or limited liability companies (LLCs) that can be difficult to reach when the city needs to speak with them, including in emergencies.

City officials met with representatives of the Central Maine Apartment Owner’s Association to reach the compromise of asking for voluntary registration instead of making it mandatory, according to council Chairwoman Rebecca Green, D-Ward 4, who also is chair of the city’s Housing Committee. But Councilor Claude Francke, D-Ward 6, voted against the ordinance, saying he was opposed to a “so-called ordinance” that carries no mandates or penalties and no schedule for building inspections.

The council is also scheduled Tuesday to consider authorizing Post to buy a used ambulance for $52,000 from Autotronics of Bangor. The city ordered a new ambulance last April for $338,936 and it was expected to be delivered in February, but the time has been pushed to September, according to fire Chief Shawn Esler.

Esler said in a memo to the City Council that Autotronics cited labor shortages and delays for materials at the manufacturing facility.

The city has used a loaner ambulance since last July for emergencies and to transfer people between facilities, Esler said.

Because of the delay in getting a new ambulance, the city conducted a bid process for leasing an ambulance. Autotronics was the sole bidder, providing an option for a lease and buyout, according to Esler.

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