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9 Renaissance Way, across the street from the Center for Shopping in South Sanford, is one of the properties being considered to allow retail sales of adult-use marijuana.

The Sanford City Council met Tuesday, December 7, 2021. Councilors Luke Lanigan and John Tuttle were absent with notice. Councilor Bob Stackpole led the Pledge of Allegiance and asked for a moment of silence.

The minutes of the previous meetings were approved.

Mayor’s Report

There were no Subcommittee meetings the previous week on which to report. Mayor Anne-Marie Mastraccio read a letter from Angela LeBlanc, Development Chair for the Southern Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery Association, thanking the City for the donation of paving which will help to complete the POW/MIA Memorial at the Cemetery. She also read a short note of thanks from David Richmond, Director of the Maine Bureau of Veterans Services.

She reminded the public about the openings on boards and committees (see this story), and encouraged people to get involved.

City Manager’s Report

City Manager Steve Buck read a letter from Rick Stanley, President of the Sanford-Springvale Chamber of Commerce. The Council voted several months ago to move the Sanford-Springvale Economic Growth Council into the space where the Chamber is currently located on Main St., and offered to let the Chamber have the back office space where the Growth Council is now. Mr. Stanley wrote that the back office space lacks the visibility that the Chamber requires so instead, in the spring, they will be moving to a new location in Springvale Village.

Communications and Presentations

Parks and Recreation Director: Mr. Buck introduced the City’s new Parks and Recreation Director, Brady Lloyd. Mr. Lloyd was raised in Fryeburg and is a graduate of Fryeburg Academy and Springfield College, where he studied Sports Management and Business. He had an early interest in the recreation field, teaching swimming and serving as a lifeguard and camp counselor. He began his professional career in Denver, CO, where he was Teen Program Coordinator at the YMCA of Metro Denver. From there he returned to Maine and joined the recreation staff in the Town of Standish, where he was Program Coordinator and then Assistant Recreation Director.

Public Participation: none.

Public Hearings: none.

License Requests: Two applications for Games of Chance from the American Legion TW Cole Post were approved without comment.

Old Business: none.

New Business

COPS Grant: The Council heard a presentation from Chief Craig Andersen about a grant opportunity for the Police Department, which would provide the City with $125,000 toward the hiring and training of a second full-time officer to work with the Department’s Mental Health Unit, alongside Detective Colleen Adams. The grant has already been approved, but Chief Andersen said the terms are not completely clear and he has had difficulty connecting with the grant programmer for clarification. The $125,000 will cover about a third of the salary, benefits, training and equipment for a full-time officer over three years. The Council voted to table the motion to accept the grant until the next meeting, with the hope that the terms can be clarified by then. This City has until January 2 to accept the grant.

Downtown Reconstruction: Matt Hill, Director of Public Works, told the Council that the Maine Department of Transportation is encouraging Sanford to apply for a federal RAISE (Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity) grant, in the amount of approximately $18 million. If approved, the grant would pay for 80% of several large downtown construction projects that are already in the planning stages, with the state of Maine covering the other 20%. The projects include:

  • Reconstruction of core downtown streets and sidewalks, including parts of Main, School, Washington and River Sts., known as the Planning Partnership Initiative ($10 million)
  • Reconstruction of Route 202/Cottage St. ($6 million)
  • Reconstruction of William Oscar Emery Dr. and Riverside Ave. for the Mousam Promenade ($1.2 million)
  • A new Park & Ride near the intersection of Route 109/Main St. and Emerson St. ($210,000)
  • Reconstruction of Central Park ($500,000)

Mr. Hill said the City’s only costs would be for the few items the state and federal governments won’t cover, including underground utilities, concrete sidewalks, and some of the engineering fees. The resolution he brought before the Council asked them to approve $200,000 for the City’s 50% share of the final design phase cost of the PPI project (Maine DOT to pay the other 50%), and to support the RAISE grant application. He said support from as many corners as possible would be necessary to create a strong application. The resolution was approved unanimously.

Mr. Buck said the work that the City has put into the planning and design of these projects will make our application very competitive. The RAISE grant application will be released in the spring and will be due in September 2022.

Retail Adult-Use Marijuana Sales: The Council reviewed draft amendments to four chapters of the City Code that would allow for retail stores selling adult-use (recreational) marijuana in Sanford. The proposed amendments would allow such stores on five of the eight properties in town that are currently zoned for marijuana cultivation, processing and medical dispensing. (Only five of those are also zoned for retail sales.) Planning Director Beth Della Valle provided some background on the development of the proposed amendments. The Council voted 5-0 to send the draft amendments to the Planning Board for further review, following which they will come back to the Council again for consideration. Mr. Buck stressed that this will be a lengthy process with multiple public hearings along the way, and industry representatives will be able to have input as well.

Councilor Comments: Several Councilors made positive comments about the Holly Daze parade and tree lighting.

Future Agenda Items: Councilor Jonathan Martell asked if Zoom links to the Council meetings could be posted in a more prominent location on the City’s website, as he has heard people are having trouble finding them. Councilor Ayn Hanselmann asked if the Council could have a proactive conversation with Police Department and School Department representatives about fentanyl-laced marijuana. Councilor Stackpole asked if the discussion about litter and covered recycling containers would be taken up again, as he has noticed quite a bit of trash along River St. Deputy Mayor Maura Herlihy said she has had a communication from a resident who heard that land adjacent to the High School is going up for sale, and asked if the City and School Department could look into purchasing it for potential future growth of the school facilities.

The full meeting video may be viewed here.

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