Calais Appoints New Recreation Director

By Kaileigh Deacon

The Calais City Council met on Thursday evening in council chambers. After the meeting was called to order the council voted for a Mayor Pro Tem as Mayor Marianne Moore was not able to attend. The council unanimously voted for Artie Mingo to act as Mayor Pro Tem and proceeded with the meeting. The first order of business was the approval of the consent agenda which was approved unanimously.

Next the council moved onto the public hearing for the Dangerous Building declaration on 507 Main Street. The building is the church located on the corner of Calais Avenue and Main Street. 

Code Enforcement Officer Tim Krug inspected the building again and took photographs to show the council. Krug described about three feet of clothes and other materials on the floor of the church, a large hole in the roof, evidence of animal activity, among many other issues. 

There was no public comment on the building so it moved on to the council for a vote. With a unanimous vote the council declared the building dangerous and proceed accordingly. 

The council then moved onto the city manager’s report. Porter reported to the council that the price for the steps in front of Just South of the Border, which the city owns, would be $1340 to get. American Concrete would come and install the steps. With a motion to suspend the rules the council then approved the expenditure for the steps to come from the Dawson fund to get the steps repaired as quickly as possible. 

Next Randy McCormick provided an update on the progress on the Athletic Complex. McCormick and Craig Morrison have been going around to all the local groups and some businesses giving a presentation for what they are doing at the complex and what they need. They have been receiving a lot of donations of money and materials for the work at the Athletic Complex. McCormick also said that the powerpoint presentation they have been sharing, including plans for the project are available on the city’s website. Finally McCormick shared that the first dates for the work on the Complex would be May 9, and 10 with rain dates of May 16 and 17. 

Under New Business the council approved the Sewer commitment, approved the Memorial Day Parade and the sewer abatement request of $114.81. The fourth item under New Business was the request to Archery Hung on City Property. This location would be the area behind the cemetery. The council referred the matter to the property committee for review and recommendation. The ambulance write-offs were tabled until the next meeting so there could be a quorum for a vote as members of the council had to abstain for various reasons. 

Next the council approved the purchase of a new truck for the Wastewater Treatment plant. The truck is a brand new truck to be purchased through Pratt Chevrolet in Calais with the money from the Wastewater budget.

Porter came before the council next with his recommendation for the council to hire Craig Morrison as the Recreation Director. Morrison has been filling in as Interim Recreation Director for several months. Morrison is excited to continue the work he has been doing and bring some new ideas to the program. Morrison has been and will continue to work with Randy McCormick on the Athletic Complex restoration. 

Porter: I am happy to present somebody that intimately knows our programs, is involved in sports, ran little league programs. He knows all the volunteers and knows the schools quite well.

Porter also pointed out that Morrison is a certified Maine guide and has plans to incorporate new programs into the recreation program that aren’t sports but other outdoor activities. 

The next item, quotes for Baileyville and Alexander on Ambulance Service was sent to Executive Session for contract discussions.

The final item on the agenda was the request to put the city audit out to bid. The city is looking to have next fiscal year’s audit handled but a different party. The council unanimously approved Porter to go out to bid on the audit. 

The council then opened the floor for public comment. Bill Lee who is a member of the Calais Fire/EMS as well as a citizen of Calais got up and spoke about the Drug problem in Calais. 

Lee: Crystal meth is just running rampant and people just aren’t opening their eyes. Its crazy the meth labs that are going on. Maybe a letter from you guys asking why Maine DEA isn’t down here. I just want to caution you going into this upcoming budget season we need our police worse than ever. This is my home town and I’m proud of it and these guys are ruining it, these druggies.

 

While drugs aren’t just a problem in Calais, but all of Washington County, Lee wanted to make sure that Calais is being taken care of as well. The council assured Lee that he wasn’t the only concerned citizen and that it is an issue they were aware of and something they were working to fight.