WATERVILLE — A enterprise proprietor on Silver Road downtown urged the Metropolis Council on Tuesday to do one thing about individuals partying on the street close to his workplace late at evening, utilizing the road as a rest room, dealing medicine and leaping onto his roof.
John Fortier, a former metropolis councilor and Parking Research Committee chairman, stated he has owned State Farm Insurance coverage on Silver Road 40 years and whereas he has reported the exercise, it continues.
“There’s defecation and urinating, there’s drug dealing, individuals go up the hearth escape and leap throughout to my constructing, a dozen of them at a time,” Fortier stated. “They’re partying on my roof. It’s simply nasty, the entire thing. It’s flawed for me to undergo that type of abuse, and it’s gone on for years.”
A Belgrade resident, Fortier attended the assembly Tuesday to ask that the council postpone voting on a request to shut components of Silver Road and Service provider’s Manner downtown to via site visitors from April 1, 2021, to Nov. 1, 2021, to offer further alternatives for outside eating. He stated nobody is aware of how the COVID-19 scenario will probably be subsequent 12 months or what social distancing tips will probably be and there ought to be no rush to decide now.
Fortier additionally took problem with the truth that he realized solely 24 hours previous to the assembly that the council was to decide Tuesday on the road closure for subsequent 12 months. He stated the closure of a part of the road for outside eating this 12 months has been tough for his prospects who’re aged, have mobility issues and wish close by parking.
“I’m caught and I simply want a little bit extra consideration to do enterprise in a sanitary and clear vogue,” Fortier stated, “and also you guys have gotten to do your due diligence, and it hasn’t been executed.”
Mayor Nick Isgro stated it’s crucial that Fortier’s problem be addressed, if what he says is true.
“If we have now individuals going to the toilet outdoors and ladies ripping their shirts off and all type of debauchery occurring, I believe it’s abhorrent. …” Isgro stated.
Metropolis Supervisor Michael Roy stated he spoke with police Chief Joseph Massey earlier Tuesday and Massey stated his division in 2019 and this 12 months carried out patrols on Silver Road to handle the problems Fortier raised.
“They don’t announce it after they go, John,” Roy stated. “They’re not in uniform …”
Roy stated that clearly, police can’t be on the positioning each evening.
In the meantime, Fortier stated he began searching for a brand new location in July for his enterprise due to the “shenanigans” on Silver Road and he hopes to be in a brand new web site on Kennedy Memorial Drive in April subsequent 12 months. However he famous that he nonetheless owns the Silver Road property.
Council Chairman Erik Thomas, D-Ward 7, identified that the requested road closure for subsequent 12 months and Fortier’s ongoing issues are two separate points. He stated it does appear Fortier’s points proceed, and he advised Fortier he’s keen to satisfy with him, Roy and probably Massey to debate it. He stated he thinks town must be a mediator, and he might function facilitator.
Councilors voted 5-1 to approve closing the streets subsequent 12 months, regardless of Fortier’s declare that doing so would field his enterprise in.
“I’m for eating, however don’t shut my doorways,” he stated. “Don’t devalue my property, and that’s what you’re speaking about right here.”
However Jennifer Bergeron, co-owner of the Lion’s Den Tavern, which has outside eating on The Concourse, and Charlie Giguere, proprietor of Silver Road Tavern, which additionally has outside eating, stated they should know now if the streets will probably be closed subsequent 12 months in order that they’ve time to plan. COVID-19 has been tough on restaurateurs and the outside eating alternative has been important, in keeping with the enterprise house owners. Bergeron stated Fortier’s issues happen after her restaurant has closed for the evening, and she or he additionally wish to see that exercise cease.
Giguere stated he felt his enterprise was being held hostage by a feud between Fortier and a neighboring restaurant.
“It’s out of my management, and I actually don’t need to get caught up in that dialogue. …” Giguere stated, including that he appreciated what the council has executed to this point in permitting the streets to be closed for outside eating. He urged the council to vote Tuesday to approve the closures subsequent 12 months as nicely.
As a part of the council’s vote to approve these closures, permission was given to The Correct Pig restaurant to make use of a part of Widespread Road in the identical manner it did this 12 months.
The council beforehand licensed outside eating to be prolonged to Nov. 1 this 12 months, and the Lion’s Den restaurant requested, and was granted permission for, extending outside eating till April 1, 2021. That restaurant, which makes use of an out of doors construction on The Concourse off Service provider’s Manner, is engaged on attainable plans for winter, together with serving hors d’oeuvres, having an ice bar and probably fireplace pits.
Along with Silver Road Tavern, the Final Unicorn and Cancun eating places function outside eating on a part of Silver Road. The outside eating dates for subsequent 12 months additionally would apply for You Know Whose Pub and Holy Cannoli off Service provider’s Manner.
In different issues Tuesday, the council had deliberate to contemplate taking a closing vote to approve a lease for the Alfond Youth & Group Heart for city-owned land adjoining to the Alfond Municipal Pool on North Road for constructing a group ice rink. Nevertheless, the council voted 6-Zero to postpone voting on the lease. Some particulars such because the lot measurement haven’t been determined, in keeping with Roy.
The council took a primary vote to approve a 99-year lease for the property so the Alfond Heart can construct a rink on Oct. 6, however Alfond officers stated they have to first get a nod from the middle’s board of administrators earlier than beginning to increase funds with Central Maine Youth Hockey for the rink.
The council Tuesday voted 6-Zero on a separate request to seek advice from the Planning Board for public listening to and advice a proposal to rezone a part of the land for the rink from Useful resource Safety to Industrial Zone, rezone the shoreland a part of the property from Useful resource Safety to Class B shoreland and make revisions to the Institutional Zone to cut back constructing setback necessities.
The council additionally took a closing, 5-1 vote, to approve amendments to the marijuana ordinance, with Councilor Claude Francke, D-Ward 6, the lone dissenter. Councilors voted 6-Zero to simply accept an $11,837 Maine Outside Heritage Fund Grant for path work on the Quarry Highway Trails recreation space, and 6-Zero to simply accept an $80,000 grant from the Heart for Tech and Civic Life to help planning and operation of secure and safe elections.
Councilors voted unanimously to indefinitely desk making a choice to seek advice from the Planning Board a request by M&J Properties LLC that 125 Airport Highway be rezoned from Airport Industrial to Basic Industrial to permit for building of a marijuana rising facility. However the council voted 6-Zero to simply accept a proposal of $64,900 from M&J Properties for Lot. No. 7 within the Airport Highway Subdivision.
Councilors voted 6-Zero to nominate Mark Wardecker to the Waterville Public Library Board of Trustees for a time period to run out in 2023. They voted 6-Zero to problem a secondhand license to Damon’s Classic Vinyl LLC, doing enterprise as The Report Connection at 252 Essential St. In addition they voted unanimously to approve modifications to the MainePERS retirement plan for Waterville Skilled Firefighters Union.
Councilors took the primary of two wanted votes to rezone about 22 acres of Airport Highway from Airport District to Airport Industrial District to permit Cenergy to assemble a photo voltaic farm. The vote was 6-0.
In addition they voted 3-Three to seek advice from the Planning Board for public listening to and advice a request from former councilor and mayoral candidate Phil Bofia to rethink laws within the zoning ordinance relating to the retaining of chickens.
Isgro broke the tie in favor of sending the matter to the Planning Board — his first time as mayor breaking a tie, he stated. Francke and councilors Mike Morris, D-Ward 1, and Flavia Oliveira, D-Ward 2, voted in opposition to referring the matter to the Planning Board; Thomas and councilors Sydney Mayhew, R-Ward 4, and Rick Foss, R-Ward 5, voted to refer it to the board.
Bofia stated he has six chickens on his property and he didn’t know town has an ordinance mandating a property should be 10,000 sq. toes in measurement to have these chickens,. Bofia stated he understands the necessity to regulate the retaining of chickens, however he thinks the ordinance is just too restrictive.
Oliveira stated she has spoken with Bofia’s next-door neighbor who says his coop is about 10 toes from her home. Bofia stated he thinks that with the ordinance in place, half of town’s inhabitants can be prohibited from having chickens.
“I reached out to (my neighbor) to attempt to resolve the difficulty,” Bofia stated. “She wasn’t very receptive to the dialog, however that’s OK.”
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