Calais City Council

By Kaileigh Deacon

The Calais City Council held its first meeting of the new year on Thursday in Council Chambers. Once the meeting was started and the consent agenda approved, the council opened a Public hearing. The Public hearing was on a Liquor License application for the Chen Family Garden Restaurant. With no input from the public, the councilors approved the license. 

Next was the city manager’s report. Jim Porter reported that the city was left $6000 by the late Jesse Beg. The money is to be divided evenly between the Fire Department, the Police Department, and the Library with $2000 going to each. 

Porter then told the council that the auditor assigned to the city accounts was no longer handling the account and a new auditor had been assigned. The new person assigned to audit the accounts, as of the meeting Thursday, has not been in touch with the City to establish a time line when they would be able to get something back to the city. 

Next on the agenda was an update from Randy McCormick on the progress of the Athletic  Complex Project. While the weather doesn’t allow a lot of the work to be done, McCormick reported that they have been busy on getting everything ready. McCormick’s class at WCCC used a computer program to design the new benches that will be placed around the complex after being built by the welding class. McCormick also reported that there have been lots of offers of donations of supplies and time already made to the project. The Council moved to an item further down on the agenda after McCormick’s presentation and authorized the transfer of the funds estimating around $3000 from the DARE account to the account set up for the DiCenzo Complex Project. 

Mingo: This is really what we need. We’ve talked for two years now about powering this economic development thing that we have. What it’s going to boil down to is the people that live here and their involvement in bringing projects like this to the city.

Under New Business discussed the Calais/Baileyville MOU, or the cooperative for economic development that is being established. The council was asked to look at and agree to the terms of the cooperative but after some discussion it was decided to wait on making a decision until it could be reviewed more carefully and until after Baileyville held their Town Meeting and they could discuss any concerns together.  

Next the council discussed a land offer from Mark Thorum. Thorum purchased some of the property along Main Street. Along with the property came one of the back parking lots as well. Thorum has offered the parking lot to the city. The  council decided to hold off on  making a decision regarding the property right now until the offer could be looked at more carefully. They referred it to the Property Committee for review and recommendation.

Next the Council approved the appointment of Craig Morrison as interim Recreation Director. Morrison has been involved with the Recreation program for many years both as a parent and as a coach. The council agreed to have Morrison as the interim Director while they advertise to fill the position.

The council approved the hiring of a part-time, twenty-nine hours a week, librarian to fill the vacated full-time librarian position. The council also approved the reduction in the out of town rate for minors, children under eighteen. Currently the rate for out of town residents, regardless of age, is $25. The rate for minors will drop from $25 to $5 effective immediately. 

The council also approved the Sewer abatement request, the sewer commitment for the Quarter ending 12/31/14, the sending of the 30 Day Latter of Redemption for properties behind on Taxes and Sewer, the lottery for the 10 groups given Voluntary Road Toll positions, and the Water Department Budget. 

The next meeting will be held on January 22 at 6 in Council Chambers.