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City Council April 16 Meeting Summary

city council meeting on Zoom

Credit: City of Sanford

By Renée Morin

The City Council met on April 16, 2024, with all members in attendance.

Mayor’s Report

Trails around Sanford are being cleared of trees and debris from the recent storm so they will be suitable for public use. For anyone wishing to help, Fast & Happy Bicycles will be sponsoring a cleanup this Saturday from 11 am to 1 pm. Additionally, Mayor Becky Brink requested that bicycles not be used on the trails, as they are currently too soft for them.

Brink let the public know about various eateries and farms located in the Sanford-Springvale area, including the Farmer’s Market held Saturdays in Central Park from May to October, 8 am to noon. Her goal was to inform residents about all that Sanford has to offer. She indicated that she hopes to make these “Did You Know?” notices a regular feature of council meetings.

City Manager’s Report

City Manager Steve Buck started his report by updating the council on state legislation of interest to the city that is currently on the legislative docket.

An ordinance regarding a change in fees in Section 120 of the City Code, in accordance with the fiscal year 2024-25 budget, will have its first reading as well as a public hearing during the council meeting on May 7.

Also included in next year’s budget is the creation of an assistant city manager position. The ordinance establishing both the job description and the classification will have two readings at upcoming council meetings, as well as a public hearing.

The price of “Pay as You Throw” trash bags will increase to $16 per sleeve starting July 1.

Finally, Buck’s report updated the council on the city’s response to the recent storm. During the storm many of the city’s departments worked together to deal with a large number of incoming service calls and had to determine how best to tackle them. “The interdepartmental coordination and cooperation was truly amazing to witness,” Buck said. “Our city has such dedicated staffing within our public safety departments, and it is demonstrated during such storm response.”

Public Participation

Resident Scott MacDonald, Jr., brought up his concerns regarding litter near the boat landing on Number One Pond. According to MacDonald, a homeless encampment that had recently been cleared from the area left behind trash, which he fears will be carried away by rising water, polluting the pond.

Public Hearings/Consent Agenda

A hearing was held to accept public comment on the approval of a Medical Marijuana Grower/Cultivation license for Frosteez LLC D/B/A Enzy Farms. The issue was added to the consent agenda and was passed.

An off-premises license application for Cruisin Infusions for the day of May 1 was also approved.

New Business

Real estate and personal property taxes for 2024 will be due on the following schedule: The first installment will be due by Sept. 16 and the second installment by March 17, 2025, with a delinquent interest rate of 8.50%. Interest will begin to accrue on the first installment on Sept. 17 and on the second installment on March 18, 2025.

The council approved road closures for the Memorial Day Parade, along with street closures on July 3 and July 4 for Independence Day celebrations.

Additionally, the council approved the closure of The Rec Area at Holdsworth Park to the public from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm on days when summer camp is held there. The intention is to help counselors keep track of the kids.

The council issued a proclamation commemorating the National Celebration of General Aviation in Washington, D.C. on May 11. This celebration will include an airshow over the U.S. Capitol building, showcasing different models of planes. The proclamation states that the celebration “presents a tremendous opportunity to seize the public imagination, reflect our ability to safely achieve innovative technological advancements, and be a defining moment in remembering the past, present, and future significance of general aviation in the United States and at our airport here in Sanford, Maine.”

Closing

Councilor Jonathan Martell expressed gratitude to the various city personnel who had helped the city during and after the recent storm. Councilor Maura Herlihy said the city should soon look at ordinances regarding fairgrounds.

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