Calais City Council Enacts Emergency Ordinance

By Kaileigh Deacon

The Calais City Council held their regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday at 6pm in Council Chambers. Present were Mike Sherrard, Marcia Rogers, Eddie Moreside, Anne Nixon, and City Manager Jim Porter. 

The meeting was called to order and the consent agenda and previous meetings minutes were approved. The council then moved into old business. Before they got into the city manager’s report Porter asked the council to suspend the rules and add three additional items to the agenda, which the council unanimously approved. 

Porter then informed the council that next Thursday at 5pm there will be a Washington County Budget Caucus. One of the councilors has to attend, Moreside volunteered. He then told the council about a celebration lunch that would be held for Austin Ginn on Friday at the St. Croix Number 1 Firehouse. Ginn has been a city employee for 33 years and is leaving to become the new Automotive Instructor for the St. Croix Regional Technical Center. 

The property committee told the council about their meeting with Dick Barnard from the St. Croix Number 1 Firehouse. The meeting was to discuss the potential of putting a heating system in the Firehouse. Barnard will get more information to present to the committee. The City would be responsible for paying for the fuel. They also went to the cemetery to look at the tower out there. Roger Holst has expressed that they need more land for guide wires. Arnie Clark would be working on a letter to clarify the situation.

Under new business the first item the council reviewed was the Manning Street Water/Sewer Project. The city would have to hold a public hearing on acquiring the $888,000 bond required to complete the project. The bulk of the money would be forgiven. They are two separate projects with one at 70% forgiveness and the other a little less. The council approved the bond to go to public hearing at the August 24th. 

Next the city council authorized the police department to solicit bids for a new police cruiser including a sedan, truck, and Tahoe. Porter then notified the council of his intent to fill the full time position vacated by Austin Ginn as a fulltime truck driver and heavy equipment operator. The council also approved the ambulance write-offs. They then approved a sewer abatement request in the amount of $446.34 on a bill of $633.18, with Sherrard opposed. 

The council approved Porter to solicit bids on surplus property. The first item on the three added to the agenda was the permission for the Motor Inn to construct their Beer Garden from August 11-12 from 12pm-1am. 

The council then heard a presentation from David Sivret concerning the tennis courts at the Thomas Dicenzo Athletic Complex. Maine Tennis and Track came to look at the courts and they said the courts are in such a state that they should be torn up and replaced. Sivret has been working with the high school tennis program to help raise money to accomplish this goal. The total cost of the project would be around $118,000. So far they have raised around $21,000 for the Wright Foundation matching grant of $20,000. They also had a tag day that raised over $700 as well as hosting a spaghetti dinner at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church on Friday. They are looking into other possible grants but wanted to advise the council as to what they were doing. 

During roundtable Rogers thought that it might be time to reach out to Baileyville about considering school consolidation. 

Rogers: The population in Calais, as far as classroom size, keeps decreasing and decreasing. We could get a dialogue going around that we could definitely offer better quality services. And I think the time is right for Baileyville because of where they’re at with their school. 

Sherrard also wished for the council to express their condolences for Ferguson Calder’s family on his passing. 

In their final action they enacted the Chapter 7 Flood Plain Management Ordinance as an emergency ordinance. This is the same language that the council adopted in their previous meeting. The council supported the ordinance with Sherrard opposed. 

The council will meet again on August 24, at 6pm in council chambers.