Subcommittee Meeting Notes

Holdsworth Park in Springvale

Two of the City Council’s subcommittees met Tuesday, July 12, 2022. The following is a summary of items discussed.

Municipal Operations and Property Subcommittee

Mayor Anne-Marie Mastraccio, Deputy Mayor Maura Herlihy and Councilor Becky Brink make up this subcommittee.

DPW Fleet Management: Public Works Director Matt Hill presented an update on the fleet management program for his department. The most important recent update was that the order he placed more than a year ago for two Ford F-750 plow trucks was cancelled by Arundel Ford six weeks ago. He was told that the trucks would not be produced. After hunting around for replacements, he found a pair of International CV515 trucks at H.P. Fairfield, that he can get in time for the upcoming winter season. The cost is $175,890 each, which is about 24% more than the bid on the Fords. H.P. Fairfield was already supplying the equipment for the trucks (the plow wing and sander), but now they will be supplying the complete vehicle. Mr. Hill said there is a shortage of trucks everywhere, but that Fairfield had the foresight to order some ahead of time. He said the CV515 will be a good truck for clearing our smaller downtown streets, but he is more concerned about whether he will have the manpower to do the work.

Four-Day Workweek: See separate story

Parade Registrations: Parks and Recreation Director Brady Lloyd joined the meeting to discuss the registration process for participants in parades. City Manager Steve Buck explained that an issue occurred with the Wolves Club on the Fourth of July because they didn’t comply with the insurance requirements for entry. The Wolves Club said they had sent in their paperwork, but Mr. Lloyd said it was never received, so they weren’t allowed to participate in the parade.

A question was also raised as to the necessity of the $25 entry fee. Mr. Buck detailed some of the work that goes in to putting on a parade, including pre-event safety meetings, installing and removing traffic barricades, police and traffic details, and more. “The public is not aware of all the logistics that go in to making these fun events…$25 doesn’t even scratch the surface,” he said.

Liability is another issue. The Maine Municipal Association has strict guidelines for the City to follow for events to be covered under general liability insurance. One of these is that drivers must provide proof of insurance and a valid driver’s license. Finance Director Ronni Lynn Champlin said she does a lot of work behind the scenes to make sure the City is covered before each big event. The Maine Municipal Association, which provides the City’s liability insurance, told her they covered a claim due to a fatality at a parade a few years ago, so it is not an academic exercise.

Other Park Issues:

  • Mr. Lloyd said he will be bringing a proposal to the next Council meeting to close Holdsworth Park to the public three days a week through August 5 while the Parks and Rec summer camp is going on. He said there have been “a few incidents” and is concerned for the safety of staff and kids.
  • Mayor Mastraccio asked when the construction trailer will be gone from Benton Park. Mr. Lloyd said the Westside Village project is scheduled for completion in mid-October, and that after that the trailer will be removed and the fencing around the new toddler playground will be installed.
  • Mr. Lloyd said he had received no response from Little League organizers on his request for a meeting.

Public Safety Subcommittee

Councilors Ayn Hanselmann, Jonathan Martell and Becky Brink make up this subcommittee.

Covid Update: Community Development Director Ian Houseal presented the latest Covid-19 trends and statistics. The Community level for York County remains in green. Sanford’s wastewater is now being tracked for viruses, including Covid, which he said will be especially helpful as we get into the winter months.

Crosswalk Safety: Mr. Buck reported that the roadway line striping has been completed, but the crosswalks have not been done because that is handwork and the Department of Public Works has been unable to find a vendor with the manpower to do it. Councilor Martell asked if Sanford could get the equipment to have the DPW do it inhouse. Mr. Buck replied that the DPW is also understaffed, but he will research the equipment costs and report back.

The new crosswalk safety signs are being designed right now and once that work is done it will be put out to bid. 80% of the cost of the signs is being paid through the Maine Department of Transportation’s Heads Up Pedestrian Safety grant.

Police Department Updates: See separate story.

School St. Parking Lot: Mayor Mastraccio asked if the Police Department has checked on two vans that were parked in the School St. parking lot next to the Back Street Restaurant, in what appeared to be a permanent living situation. Officer Mike Gordon of the Mental Health Unit said one van has moved, and the other belongs to a person who is currently hospitalized with a serious medical condition. Once he has been released from the hospital, they will work with him to address the situation.