Calais City Council Has Full Agenda

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Calais Mayor Marianne Moore presented plaques from the City Council to Louie Bernardini for his many years of service to the community as council member and to Joe Cassidy for serving as mayor and council member. (Photo by Gwen Clark).

By Gwen Clark

The CalaisCity Council members, City manager Diane Barnes,  Mayor Marianne Moore and City attorney David Fletcher met  in Council Chambers last Thursday evening January 10 with a full agenda in hand.   Previous to the meeting a group met in the Council Room  to view a presentation and informational  demonstration  with representatives from the International Schoodic Sculpture Symposium.   This is the organization that has provided many of the large stone sculptures seen in communities around the Downeast Area such as Eastport, Machias, Roques Bluff, Addison etc. nineteen communities in total thus far and is referred to as the Sculpture Tour.   The Calais group held its meeting  to research the possibility of placement and application  for one such sculpture for 2014.

Following the Scupture Symposium presentation, the City Council was called into order at 6 PM with   all Council members were in attendance. Special Recognition Presentations  were given to Louis Bernardini  in honor of his  years of service  as a Council Member and also to honor Joe Clark for his service as former Mayor and service as a council member.  Mayor Marianne Moore presented each with a plaque from the city.

Diane Barnes submitted the city manager’s report and requested  funds for the payment of a wiring bill for services performed at the Public Safety Building as part of an up-grading to be paid to Riverside Electric for a total of $2,475.76.  It was approved by the Council.   Attorney David Fletcher informed the Council that negotiations involving the Calais withdrawal from AOS 77 were moving along.  Council member Chris Bernardini  shared results  from meeting with AXIOM in Machias gaining information for the updating  of  a website for both community and schools in Calais.

As part of the Economic/Community Development Committee  City manager Diane Barnes reported that  she had been investigating  into financial support and assistance in re-establishing a nursing home in Calais.   This part of Down-East Maine has a great need for an establishment of this type once again.

A member from the attending public express his concern  with the benefits or lack thereof in supporting the East/West Highway.  The question was raised as to what type of benefit would it be for Calais as it seems the highway would serve as a direct line from Canada  to other parts of Maine and beyond.  The Committee felt that it could benefit  Calais business via the way of warehousing or through use of  shipping out of Eastport.   An East/West Highway  Letter of Support was submitted for approval .   The letter had been drafted by an individual out of Canada for authorization and approval to be sent to Mr. Darryl Brown Program Manager of Cianbro Corporation.

The following names were suggested for approval to a Welcoming Committee Team:   Ed Bell, Nick Delmonico Jr, Scott Hallowell, Bill Cassidy, Chris Gardner, Marianne Moore, Dan Cohnstaedt, Julie Jordan, Mike Lally, Harold Clossey, Diane Barnes, Scott Beal, and John Ferguson and all were approved.    Submission of lowest bids were presented to the Council for debt refinancing and were approved to be awarded to the lowest bidding financial institutions.   Authorization to submit a Letter of Intent for a CDBG Downtown Revitalization Grant  was requested and granted as well as the acceptance  of the Maine Forest Service 2012 Planning and Education Grant.   This would allow the replanting of Lindon trees in the downtown area. These trees will last longer than some other trees. The Voluntary Road Toll applications were all reviewed and accepted with the maximum number approved for this year.   A discussion of the TIF Policy called for an increase in percentages and fees due to the fact that they had not been changed or adjusted in a long period of time to meet todays standards and economy.  

A Joint Council/Planning Board Meeting was established for January 22 and an Economic Development Workshop scheduled for January 31.   The Sewer Committment of December 31, 2012 in the amount of $213,475.08 was also approved.  The council entered into executive Session to discuss Land Aquisition, Union negotiations and a Personnel Issue.