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The Sanford City Council held their regular meeting on August 3. Councilors John Tuttle and Ayn Hanselmann were absent with notice.

Mayor Anne-Marie Mastraccio began the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence. In her report, she thanked everyone present for complying with her request to wear a mask. She announced the Police Department is forming a Citizens Advisory Group and urged anyone interested to complete the online application.

Councilor Luke Lanigan asked if masks were required at in person meetings or simply requested. Mayor Mastraccio responded that the Council would be discussing and voting on it at the end of the agenda.

City Manager’s Report

Task Force Updates: City Manager Steven Buck told the Council that the Rail Trail Task Force expects to complete its work by the end of the month and submit a report with recommendations to the Council at that time. He has reviewed the first draft of the report, which summarizes a series of potential solutions to facilitate continued use of the Trail by multiple users, including ATVs. He commended the Task Force for their exceptional work.

Mr. Buck said the Mineral Extraction Task Force has also made progress drafting a new ordinance pertaining to licensing of gravel pits. The proposed ordinance is largely modeled on the one used by the City of Augusta, with adjustments specific to Sanford. The Task Force expects to submit its proposed ordinance to the Planning Board and City Council in March of 2022.

Public Safety: Mr. Buck read the press release from the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency regarding recent arrests in Sanford. See separate story. He read a summary from Acting Deputy Chief Eric Small on the first day’s work of the Police Department’s new Mental Health Unit. (Look for a story on the MHU next week.) He reported that the Maine Department of Fisheries and Wildlife has awarded the Department a grant of $3,550 for equipment and training to allow our officers to enforce speed limits and other laws on the Rail Trail. Detective Everett Allen worked to secure the grant and will be the ATV instructor for the Department.

Mr. Buck thanked Bill Tower, Director of the Sanford Regional Communications Center, for his efforts to get a Continuity of Operations Site (COOP) established at the York County Emergency Management Agency. The COOP will provide backup dispatch service if any of York County’s dispatch centers go down due to Covid-19 or other emergencies.

Public Works: Mr. Buck announced that light capital paving has been completed on Whipple, Greenaway, Highland and Lucerne, as well as Oak Ridge Road and Stoney Bridge Road. The top coat of paving was scheduled for this week on Mt. Hope Rd., and next week for Railroad Ave. In the Westside Village project, reconstruction on Kimball St. is expected to begin in mid-August, with base coat paving finished this year. The contractor, Sergeant Corp., may be able to work on the section of Shaw St. from Roberts to Prescott, as well as the upper portion of Prescott this year as well. Top coat paving, and full reconstruction of the remaining parts of Shaw and Prescott, and Twombley Rd. from Kimball to Main St., will be done next year.

Public Participation

Lt. Gerald Gay of the Sanford Fire Department addressed the Council with regard to their failure to staff the Department as was agreed to three years ago. The plan agreed to would have brought each shift up to 13 firefighters, while today some have 11 and some have 12. He said that in 1980, Sanford had two-person engine companies, and 39 years later, still does. He said the South Sanford station was closed due to insufficient staff, adding “the taxpayers at that end of the City deserve better.” He also chided the Council for the City’s failure to finish the upgrade of the Springvale station. He recommended the Council add 3 or even 4 new positions “so this Department can get ahead, and not be left behind as we have been over the last three years.”

Sanford Seacoast Regional Airport

The Council voted to accept a grant of $1,779,003 from the Federal Aviation Administration for reconstruction of Taxiway C at the Airport, and to sign a contract with Sergeant Corporation for $1,614,805 to do the work.

The Council voted to accept the withdrawal of W. McKay Construction from the Presidential Lane extension project at the Airport. That company was unable to get the bond required. The Council voted to accept the bid from Jamco Excavation LLC (the second lowest bidder) to do the work instead, and enter into a contract for the first phase of the project. Jamco’s bid of $1.336,076 is substantially higher than McKay’s, but Airport Manager Allison Navia said it was more in line with the original $1.2M projected price tag for the work. She said the project will pay for itself eventually as the Airport derives revenue from new hangars built along the road.

Other Items

The Council approved amending the contract with Comprehensive Land Technologies, Inc, for tree-clearing work on the CGA Solar Project site. The original contract did not include stump grinding and removal. The additional work adds $17,350 to the project cost. The work will be paid for through the Planning Department’s Brownfields Cleanup Fund.

The Council approved the purchase of a new Ford Transit Connect XLT Van for the Animal Control Officer. Chief Craig Andersen said the ACO’s existing vehicle, which is the same model, is approaching excessive mileage. The bid of $21,057 from Casco Bay Ford was the lowest one received.

The Council voted to declare four homes in Sanford and Springvale dangerous buildings, and ordered their abatement. See separate story.

The Council approved two amendments to their Rules and Order of Business. See separate story.

Under Councilor Comments, Councilor Lanigan announced that he will not be seeking reelection, as he has been asked to run for State Representative in 2022 and will be pursuing that office instead.

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