Calais Hires Paramedic, Prepares for New Takeout Stand

By Lura Jackson

The Calais City Council met on Thursday, July 23rd for the first and only meeting of the month. Several requests were brought before the council including the opening of a new takeout stand and the approval of two new appointments for Calais Fire-EMS.

The first new appointment for the Fire-EMS department was Robert Peterson, Jr., who would be a replacement for the fireman/paramedic position. “He’s very well qualified. He’s had a long time in the service. He’s got some teaching certificates we are very excited about,” Fire Chief Robert Posick said. The council unanimously approved the request with the exception of Councilor Moreside, who abstained. The second appointment for the department was that of the business manager position, which was successfully advertised in-house. Posick recommended Karen Clark for the position and the council expressed their support with a matching vote. 

The new takeout stand was requested by Julianna Mahan, owner of the former restaurant Julianna’s World Café on North Street. The new business—named Double Dog—will be opening in the same location. Open from May to September or October, Double Dog will serve ice cream, hot dogs, and various “eats”, and it will feature outdoor as well as limited indoor seating. Mahan requested to the council that the recently cleared lot adjacent to her building be graded so that picnic tables and additional positive ambience could be added. Eventually, Mahan anticipates adding outdoor awnings similar to the ones across the street on the Urban Moose building. The council unanimously approved the request.

The council briefly discussed previous complaints regarding amplified noise at Just South of the Border. Councilor Marcia Rogers said that she and Councilor Billy Howard had spoken with owner Gary Young about the noise levels produced by the amplified sound during live music. Rogers said that Young was “very receptive” and worked with the councilors to find what was mutually agreed to be an acceptable noise level. Additional sound barriers were raised around the area to reduce the reverberation and prevent the sound from disturbing patrons of nearby sleeping lodges. Rogers said that since the adjustments had been made, she had only received one complaint which stated that it was better but still not perfect, particularly during live bands. Young expressed that anytime the noise was too loud, he would speak with the band to make the appropriate adjustments. Mayor Marianne Moore said that open communication should continue and the council thanked Young for his cooperation.

City Manager Porter reported that the amount previously approved for the repair of the retaining wall at the transfer station is insufficient to complete the task. Porter said that the wall was approximately halfway finished with $1,600 remaining in the budget. He estimated that it would take up to $6,000 more to finish the job at this point but that if it was not addressed now it could cost between $10,000 and $20,000 in the future. The council approved the use of up to $6,000 from the unassigned fund balance.

The council was presented with a voting ballot for the Maine Municipal Association election. Mayor Moore is one of three candidates nominated for directing the MMA, an appointment that will last for three years. Moore has been a member of the MMA Executive Committee since 2011 in addition to other roles within the organization. The council approved the signing of the ballot in support of Mayor Moore.

Financial Director Crystal Myers said that the recently hired auditing firm of Runyon Kersteen Ouellette had visited the city and offered several helpful and promising suggestions to improve the city’s financial organization. She said that the trio was young but experienced and that they said there would be no problems meeting the December deadline for this year’s audit as preliminary work had already been completed. 

Councilor Eddie Moreside noted that the conditions of the culverts on the Carson Road were “atrocious” and that they needed to be addressed. Myers said that about $1,500 remained in the CIP fund for culverts and Porter replied that he would request a quote. Councilor Artie Mingo raised concern regarding the Shattuck Road, and Councilor Billy Howard brought up the Hardscrabble Road, which is beset by beavers. Howard said that there is a stretch of road about 100’ in length that is covered in water as a result of beaver dams. The council agreed that it would look into requesting the trapping of the beavers on the nearby game reserve.

Several summer events were reviewed and approved by the council. 

Owner John Marchese of the Calais Motor Inn requested permission to set up a beer tent during the International Festival. Police Chief Dave Randall was on hand to comment that the tent had produced no problems last year. “There were plenty of people and we never had any issues...we had a lot of good compliments.” The council unanimously approved the request, which was motioned for by Councilor Howard and seconded by Councilor Eddie Moreside. The tent will be open on July 31st from 4 pm to 1 am, on August 1st from noon to 1 am, on August 7th from 4 pm to 1 am, and on August 8th from noon to 1 am.

The Chair Affair auction of Adirondack chairs decorated by local businesses and individuals will be held on August 9th at noon in Triangle Park. Chairs are already on display at various businesses around town. The auction is sponsored by the Calais Downtown Revitalization Coalition. 

 

The second annual Arts and Crafts along the Waterfront with live music and a wine and beer tasting was unanimously met with approval. The event is sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Chamber of Commerce and will be held on September 26th from 12 to 5 pm on the Calais Riverfront Walkway.