City Council Approves New Camera Upgrade

By Kaileigh Deacon


On Thursday, September 14th, the Calais City Council met. During the meeting, the council addressed the need for new cameras at the city building, painting the library, and the need to hire a new public works person, among other topics.

The council heard from City Manager Jim Porter on the current state of the camera system for the city building. One is in need of replacement, which would cost the city $150. The current system is ten years old and could be upgraded for better quality. The cost to upgrade the system from the current one to a new HD system would be $1500. The city has the money for the new system in a CIP fund and the council unanimously approved the purchase. 

Councilor Artie Mingo asked Police Chief David Randall to speak on some of the work they have been doing in Calais to continue to deter and stop drugs in Calais. “We, as a council, and some of the past councils a few years ago, we’ve been in meetings with you, and told you this is what we want,” Mingo said. “We don’t want DEA, we don’t want to wait a year, because people are being affected by drugs daily. We want to take control of our own town, through our own police department, and Dave, you’re doing exactly what we asked you to do.” 

The city also reviewed and approved the painting bids for the Calais Free Library. The painting would include all the outside trim around the library. The company that was awarded the bid gave two bids, one for staining and one for painting. The bid for staining came in around $350 less than the painting bid which also included the stripping of the old paint prior to staining. The council went with the option of staining which will cost roughly $8000. The money will come from the Library’s Pike Fund balance. 

The council also set up two meetings with Baileyville on September 20 at 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. The first meeting will be to discuss reorganization as it pertains to the schools and the two municipalities while the second will be to discuss the upcoming fiber utility. While the meetings are scheduled between the two councils, the public from both communities are welcome to attend as are the two school boards. The meetings will be held in Calais, possibly at the city building, but it is not yet determined. 

The city scheduled a public hearing on the possibility of abandoning the public way that runs between the Saint Croix Number 1 Firehouse and Just South of the Border. What is generally considered a parking lot actually exists as Lake Street. The public hearing will be held during the October 12 meeting. 

The city approved the write- off of property tax and water and sewer bills in the total amount of $553.94. The Council also considered a letter from a resident to pay off a tax acquired property. The city agreed to have code enforcement officer Tim Krug inspect the home to make sure it is habitable as well as having public works clean up the debris in the yard. While no other decision was reached at this time, the city continues to consider the letter provided other stipulations be met. 

During roundtable comments, Councilor Eddie Moreside informed the council that he had been meeting with Public Works Director Skeet Seelye to discuss the potential hiring of another person. A position will open at the end of the year which falls right in one of the busiest seasons for public works. It was mentioned that they could hire someone now to ensure that the person would be trained and ready to go when winter hits. The budget has the room for the additional person for the few months of overlap. Seelye will work with the city manager to come to the council with a recommendation for a hire. 

The city council will hold their next regular meeting on Thursday, September 28th, at 6:00 pm.