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The Sanford City Council met February 1, 2022 via Zoom. Councilor Jonathan Martell was absent with notice. City Manager Steve Buck was also not present.

Deputy Mayor Maura Herlihy led the Pledge of Allegiance and asked for a moment of silence in memory of Councilor John Tuttle. She thanked him for his years of dedicated service to the community.

The minutes of the January 18 meeting were approved.

Mayor’s Report

Mayor Anne-Marie Mastraccio reported that, due to staff time off, the Council Subcommittee meetings, which are usually held the second Tuesday and Wednesday of the month, will be postponed until the fourth week of February. There will also be a Council workshop with the City’s Communications Coordinator on Tuesday, February 22 on Zoom.

She announced that Councilor Tuttle’s funeral will be held at Holy Family Church on Saturday at 11:00 a.m., and added her condolences to his wife and daughter.

Communications / Presentations

Technical Manual: Public Works Director Matt Hill reported on the draft of the City’s Technical Manual, which is intended to summarize and modernize the construction standards for things like roads, sidewalks, driveways, excavation, stormwater management, and more. The standards represent current and widely-accepted practices, and were previously scattered throughout the City’s zoning ordinances and planning regulations. The goal of the Manual is to collect all this information under one cover, to make Sanford an easier community in which to build and renovate. Mr. Hill said the Manual will be reviewed at least annually, and updated as technologies and practices evolve.

The draft of the Manual is available on the City’s website here for review. The public may send comments to Techmanualcomments@sanfordmaine.org for at least the next six weeks. A public hearing will be held before the Manual is formally adopted. The Council encouraged Mr. Hill to be more proactive in soliciting feedback from developers and consultants who regularly work with the City. Councilor Bob Stackpole suggested a Google doc or other app that allows multiple users to add comments.

Public Participation: none.

Public Hearings

Medical marijuana: Public hearings were held for medical marijuana grower/cultivator license renewals for Gaia Farms LLC, 168 Country Club Rd., Unit C; and NorthStar Property Management, 72 Emery St., Unit 201. There were no public comments either in favor or against. Code Enforcement Officer Jamie Cole said by the time license renewals come before the Council, they have already been inspected and authorized by his department. He expects to bring 25 or so more license renewals to the Council over the next several meetings. Both licenses were renewed under the Consent Agenda with no comment.

Old Business

Financial Reports: Finance Director Ronni Champlin gave a brief overview of the City’s financial report for the second quarter of fiscal year 21/22, which covers October through December 2021. She reported the General Assistance Non Contract Services line item is 83.9% expended rather than the expected 50% at the halfway point of the fiscal year, but the state reimburses 70% of this cost. Revenue is also higher than expected, at 55%. The full financial report may be viewed in the Council meeting packet on the City’s website here.

Dangerous Building: The Council voted to confirm the findings and order from the hearing at its January 18 meeting adjudging the International Woolen Mill boiler house to be a dangerous building and nuisance. Community Development Director Ian Houseal said this additional step makes the Council’s prior action further apparent. He has not had any communication from the owners or parties in interest since the hearing, and neither has the Code Enforcement office.

New Business

Future Fire Station: The Council voted to purchase the Springvale Nurseries property for a future fire station. See separate story.

Sale of property: The Council voted to authorize the City Treasurer to sign the deed for property at 3 Beaver Hill Rd. in Springvale, on behalf of the City Manager who is out of town. The City is selling the tax-acquired property to Habitat for Humanity. The home on the property (pictured below) was declared a Dangerous Building in June 2018 and demolished in April 2019. The sale was authorized by the Property Subcommittee in May of 2021, but it has taken several months to clear the title.

Councilor Comments: Councilors and resident John Caramihalis shared their memories of Councilor Tuttle.

The full meeting video is available for viewing here.

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