February 8

Waterville planners to get look at updated comprehensive plan

Document would set direction for city for next 10 years, from economic development to recycling.

By Amy Calder acalder@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

WATERVILLE — The Planning Board on Monday will get a first look at proposed changes and additions to the city’s comprehensive plan — a document that will steer the direction the city takes over the next 10 years.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the council chambers on the third floor at The Center at 93 Main St.

City Planner Ann Beverage and Erik Thomas, chairman of the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee, encourage members of the public to attend the meeting.

The comprehensive plan draft contains a section on goals and policies, which will be the focus of Monday’s discussion, according to Beverage and Thomas, who also is a city councilor and former Planning Board member.

That section addresses topics including housing, municipal finances, the local economy, transportation, municipal and recreational facilities, historic and cultural resources, land use, and natural resources.

The plan calls for the hiring of an economic director and another staff member for the city’s code enforcement office. It also calls for examining the city’s waste and recycling services.

“One of the big things also that’s going to come up is the way the city handles solid waste,” Thomas said Friday. “We’re actually listing an RFP (request for proposals) today to get bids on having a private company possibly do our curbside recycling.”

The city now collects trash curbside on a weekly basis and people may deposit their recyclables, free of charge, at a recycling center on Armory Road. Years ago, the city had curbside recycling.

City officials over the last few years have considered re-starting that practice, but said the cost is prohibitive.

Another item to be discussed as part of the comprehensive plan is a marketing plan for the city. The City Council this week took an initial vote to approve spending $5,000 to help with that plan; they must take two more votes to finalize spending that amount.

For years, Beverage has been updating the comprehensive plan; Thomas and other volunteers have been working on the proposed updated comprehensive plan more than a year and members of the public were invited to attend the meetings.

The plan must be reviewed by the Planning Board, which would make a recommendation to the City Council; it also is subject to approval by both the City Council and the State Planning Office.

In addition, the board will consider whether to incorporate a separate bike and pedestrian plan into the city’s draft comprehensive plan.

Beverage said she does not expect planners will take a vote on the comprehensive plan Monday.

The plan was last updated and approved in 1997, she said. The draft plan may be viewed on the city’s website, www.waterville-me.gov, under Planning Department.

Beverage urged residents to attend Monday’s meeting and offer thoughts on the plan.

In other matters Monday, the board will consider a request to re-zone 18-20 Webb Road and part of a lot at Village Green mobile home park to allow the park owner to put a storage garage on the property.

Amy Calder — 861-9247acalder@centralmaine.comTwitter: @AmyCalder17
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