City Council Approves $1.1 Million Sewer Project

By Kaileigh Deacon


On Thursday August 3, the Calais City Council held a special meeting to address issues prior to their next regular meeting. All members of the council were present and the meeting was called to order. 

The first item for the council’s consideration was a Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) Grant and loan for the Palmer Street sewer project. The project is part of the Consent Agreement that the City is under regarding Sewer projects. Annaleis Hafford made a presentation to the council regarding the project and the grant. 

The Grant acquired would give the city a forgiveness of 73.96% of the $1.1 million and s the city would have to take out a loan for the amount of $285,138. The loan would be paid back over 20 years at a 1% making the city’s payment $19,850 annually. Hafford said that the money for the payments could be found in the sewer budget until 2022. In 2022 the city will receive a decrease in loan payments in the amount of $145,000 annually and the loan payment of $19,850 can be covered. The loan payment would come due until a year after the project had been completed around 2019-2020. 

Annaleis Hafford: “We can run our budget a little skinny for the next few years.”

In a unanimous vote by the council, they approved the grant and the sewer project. 

City Manager Jim Porter then informed the council of his intent to fill a position at the Calais Fire/EMS. The position would be a full-time EMT position with the option to train as a paramedic. 

The third item on the agenda was the Seavey &Young Proposal for downtown development. The Proposal would include the Waterfront Pavilion, McAlister building, and the Sarsaparilla building. The proposal is to renovate, restore, and re-purpose these three buildings two of which may have faced the possibility of demolition due to dilapidated conditions. 

The agreement would require that the development of the buildings be on a specific schedule that would be agreed on by Seavey & Young, LLC and the City of Calais. The estimated investment by Seavey & Young would be over $1.5 million and would result in the saving of two historic buildings. 

The city would issue a $165,000 forgivable loan, which will only be forgiven if the goals set out by the council and Seavey & Young for the development are met. The money for this loan will come from grant money that has been procured by the Economic Development Committee and not requiring any taxpayer money to fund. 

The current plans for the building include converting the Waterfront Pavilion into a restaurant while the McAllister and Sarsaparilla Buildings will be for mixed use. The council voted to approve the project and funding with all counselors in favor and Mayor Howard opposed.

In closing City Manager Jim Porter wanted to thank both Calais Mayor Billy Howard and St. Stephen Mayor Allan MacEachern for their efforts to bring the International Festival Parade together and resolve the issues to get the parade to run as scheduled on Saturday at noon.