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City Council Meeting Notes: July 18, 2023

By Zendelle Bouchard

The Sanford City Council met July 18, 2023. Mayor Becky Brink was absent with notice, all other members were present.

There was no Mayor’s report or Subcommittee reports.

City Manager’s Report: City Manager Steve Buck reported at length on efforts the City is making to address the crisis of homelessness in our community. See that story for details. He also talked about The Wall That Heals, a 3/4 scale traveling replica of the Vietnam War Memorial that will be coming to Sanford in September. The Committee in charge of the event has received a building permit for gravel and grading for the empty lot across from Walmart, where the Wall will be set up. See our story for more details.

Adult Use Cannabis: A public hearing was held on a new application by RL2, LLC for an adult use cannabis retail store at 72 Emery St., Unit 105. Brendon Riley (pictured above at podium), one of the partners in the business, said they will have their own entryway on the main floor of the mill. He owns a medical cannabis dispensary in Berwick as well. The application was approved. Only one adult use retail store is approved for the property.

Legion Lease: The Council ratified amendments to the lease agreement with the Thomas W. Cole Post #19 of the American Legion for the property at 656 Main St. The City was given the property in 1956 with the provision that the Post could continue to use it as long as they wanted. As the Legion is preparing to make some significant improvements to the building, the insurance company requested the lease be redone. The new lease is for 50 years. Some of the language allowing the Legion to rent out the space was strengthened at their request.

SSDC Appointments: The Council appointed the following people to the Board of the Sanford Springvale Development Corporation: Councilor Nate Hitchcock, City Manager Steve Buck, Finance Director Ronni Lynn Champlin, Growth Council Executive Director Keith McBride, Parks & Rec Director Brady Lloyd, Leslie Morisette of Grahamtastic Connections, Brian Samia of Century 21 Northeast, former Mayor Tom Cote, Mary Francis Frank, and Andrea Pais of the Sanford Mainers. The SSDC was originally founded many years ago to manage the former Nasson College Campus property in Springvale. Anderson Learning Center (ALC) is the only one of those buildings still owned by the City, so the Board that is being reassembled will have ALC’s management as its main focus. 

National Night Out: The Council approved the closure of School St. between Washington and Bodwell Sts. for the SPD’s annual National Night Out event on August 8. The road will be closed from 4:00 to 10:00 pm and the event will take place from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. This year expect to see a City Councilor in the dunk tank for the first time.

Dangerous Intersection: The Council approved MaineDOT’s request for an overlimit permit for the reconstruction of the intersection of School St. and Route 4. The permit is needed to allow MaineDOT to bring in the necessary heavy equipment. The project is currently out to bid. When completed next year, the intersection will have a regular stop light and turn lanes. Some of the grade will be reduced as well.

MMA Executive Committee: The Council accepted the slate of officers as put forward for the Maine Municipal Association’s Executive Committee. None of the candidates are from York County. Mr. Buck noted they had a hard time finding candidates this year.

Dangerous Building Hearings: See separate story.

Councilor Comments: Several Council members thanked the City for turning out at the 4th of July parade despite the torrential downpour. They had a great time seeing everyone come out and participate.

Councilor Hanselmann said a resident off Harry Howes Rd. has a flooding problem, possibly due to beavers, but it might be able to be resolved with their abutter.

The full City Council meeting may be viewed on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/@WSSRTV and on Town Hall Streams at https://townhallstreams.com/towns/sanfordme.

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