Sanford Springvale News

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Planning Director Beth Della Valle introduces new planner Kyle Boyd.

The Sanford City Council met Tuesday, September 6. Councilor Jonathan Martell was absent with notice, all others were present.

The minutes of the previous meetings were approved.

There were no Mayor’s report or Subcommittee reports.

City Manager’s Report

Revenue Sharing: City Manager Steven Buck reported on Governor Mills’ announcement that state municipal revenue sharing has been fully restored to 5% of sales and income tax revenue. For the past 15 years, revenue sharing was greatly reduced and subsequently increased the burden on local property taxes. Under the previous administration, revenue sharing had dropped to as low as 2%, but has been moving back toward full funding under the current administration. Last year it was 4.5%. The half point increase, which represents nearly a million dollars in revenue for the City, was expected and is reflected in the budget for the current fiscal year.

Hiring Update: Mr. Buck announced the following new hires:

  • Kyle Boyd – Planner
  • David Fitzgerald – Oakdale Cemetery
  • Christopher Cutting – Seasonal laborer
  • Sarah Corriveau – Administrative assistant in Code Enforcement
  • Shannon Bentley – Police Department Mental Health Unit, expected to start 9/14
  • Steven Stackpole – Dispatcher expected to start 9/26

A number of candidates are currently being interviewed for positions with the Dispatch center, Police Department, Public Works and Fire Departments. Several other positions are still being advertised.

Central Park Residences: The tax increment financing district and credit enhancement agreements for the new apartment buildings on School St. have been approved by the state and were signed last week. Construction on the first building is expected to begin shortly.

Stenton Trust: The company that plans to rehab the Stenton Trust mill building on River St. has completed the preapplication process, and formal submission of the site plan is expected soon. The building will be renovated into 96 residential units.

Fire Station: The Fire Station Feasibility Working Group has toured the Brunswick and Wells stations, and is expected to have one more tour as they collect information for the future new stations here.

Communications / Presentations

New Planner: Planning Director Beth Della Valle introduced the City’s new planner, Kyle Boyd, who has ten years of experience. Mr. Boyd said he knew from a very young age that he wanted to become a city planner, and is excited to be here. The Council welcomed him.

RAISE Grant: see separate story.

Public Participation: none

Public Hearings

Marijuana License: A public hearing was held on an application by Chris Anderson, DBA Brand Name Smoke, for a marijuana grower/cultivation license at 72 Emery St., Unit 505. Deputy Mayor Maura Herlihy said she had an email from David Genest, expressing concerns about odor from the building and leftover production material being piled outside on the vacant lot next door. Code Enforcement Officer Jamie Cole joined the meeting via Zoom and said he spoke to Isaac Ellowitz, one of the new owners of the building, who addresses odor complaints as they come in. The owners are also actively working to have the pile of potting soil and root balls removed as soon as possible. Mr. Cole said he is satisfied with their response, so saw no reason to deny the application. The application was approved with no objection.

Urban Zone Amendments: A public hearing and first reading on proposed amendments to the Urban Zone was held. Ms. Della Valle gave a brief overview of the proposed changes to front setbacks and private way standards. She said the proposed amendments will allow infill development in the Urban Zone to more closely resemble existing development there, and will be a more efficient use of the land. See last month’s Subcommittee Notes for more info. Developer Kara Wilbur said the change will allow greater flexibility for her Bodwell St. project and allow the future homeowners to have some backyard space. Mayor Mastraccio said she received written testimony from Rebecca Lapierre, who wrote that the change to the private way standards will help alleviate the housing shortage. The second reading is expected to be held at the next Council meeting.

Old Business

Lagooning Moratorium: The second reading was held on the proposed extension to the moratorium on lagooning related to mineral extraction operations. The extension will take it through February 24 of next year, by which time the new mineral extraction ordinance is expected to be adopted. The Council approved the extension without comment.

Police Vehicles: Police Chief Craig Andersen requested a waiver of the competitive bid process  to allow the Police Department to purchase an in-stock Ford Explorer for the Detectives Division. He told the Council that the shortage of new vehicles has made the bid process unworkable, as any in-stock vehicle would be sold before the City can act on a purchase, and ordering vehicles is no longer possible either. The two leased vehicles the Detectives Division are using will be replaced with Kia K5’s in January. The K5 sedan is not large enough to carry all the necessary crime scene processing and evidence collecting equipment. Funding was authorized to purchase three frontline cruisers this fiscal year, but only two are needed due to the staffing shortage. The Explorer will not need to have the extra equipment that a cruiser requires. Chief Andersen said a dealer is holding a vehicle awaiting the Council’s decision. The Council approved the waiver.

The Police Department’s lease program for unmarked vehicles was also approved. Because the shortage of new vehicles has increased the value of used vehicles, the Department will be able to get six new Kia’s for the five being turned in. The funds budgeted for this fiscal year will actually cover all three years of the lease program.

Property Acquisitions and Disposal: The Council voted to ratify the acquisition and disposal of several pieces of property which occurred since 2019. For the most part, these are small lots of land acquired by the Land Bank and sold at cost. Community Development Director Ian Houseal explained that this is a housekeeping item recommended by legal counsel to establish an official record of the transactions. These properties are:

  • Disposal of 6 Goodwin Ct.
  • Disposal of 91 Pioneer Ave.
  • Disposal of 2 Sherburne St. (now Tanguay St.)
  • Acquisition and disposal of 21 Sherburne St. (the Springvale one)
  • Disposal of 32 River St.
  • Disposal of 3 Beaver Hill Rd.
  • Disposal of 15 Grove Ave.
  • Disposal of 7 Normand Ave.
  • Acquisition of Tax map #M16-7
  • Acquisition of Tax map #R22-15
  • Disposal of 10 Brook St.
  • Disposal of 27 North St.

Election Warrant: The Council approved the warrant for the Municipal and Referendum election to be held Tuesday, November 8. The Warrant includes the language of the ballot questions and can be viewed here.

Memorial Gym: see separate story.

Epidemic and Pandemic Policy: The Council approved an amendment to the City’s Epidemic and Pandemic Policy, following new guidance by the US CDC on close contacts. The change will allow City employees with close contacts or family members who have tested positive for Covid-19 to keep working if they are not showing symptoms themselves and have not tested positive. Mr. Buck said this will be a great help.

SRCC Labor Agreement: The Council approved a new three-year contract with the Sanford Regional Communications Center employees. Mr. Buck said because there are five dispatch centers within driving distance, changes were needed to keep SRCC competitive. The contract runs through June 30 of 2025.

Council Member Comments

  • Councilor Michael Termath said he is excited to see what the future holds for our City with all the new projects happening, improving residents’ lives, making the downtown more vibrant and attracting potential investors to the community. He also pointed out that soccer season is upon us and gave a shoutout to Coach Mann at Sanford Middle School.
  • Councilor Ayn Hanselmann encouraged residents to get out and watch a football game at Alumni Stadium and enjoy the school spirit, even if you don’t have a student in school. She also mentioned the Marching Band competition which is coming up on September 17 and the Project Graduation fall mums fundraiser. The flowers can be ordered through September 15. She has been working with Toys for Tots to find a new storage location. If anyone knows of a dry 30×30 space please contact her.
  • Councilor Bob Stackpole thanked residents who signed his nomination papers for his reelection bid. He said he is looking forward to talking to people at the Farmers’ Market on Saturdays.
  • Deputy Mayor Herlihy reminded military veterans that they can get a free voucher for $20 each week in September at the Farmers’ Market through the Vouchers for Veterans program, by showing their military ID.
  • Mayor Mastraccio thanked Parks Director Brian Desrochers for going above and beyond. She said there was an event at Gateway Park and the organizers didn’t realize they needed to request the electricity be turned on. Mr. Desrochers was called and responded within five minutes to get it going.

Future Agenda Items

  • Councilor Becky Brink asked if there could be an educational session for the public on how to use the City’s new website, which will be up and running in a few weeks.
  • Deputy Mayor Herlihy announced that the Sanford Housing Authority will be giving a presentation at a Council workshop on September 27.

The full meeting video may be viewed on Town Hall Streams here and on YouTube here.

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