Planning Board Discusses Downtown Façade Plans

By Kaileigh Deacon

On Wednesday June 11 the Calais Planning Board held their meeting in Council Chambers. The meeting was to discuss the proposed plans made by the Engineer from Resurgence Engineering and Preservation for twelve of the buildings awarded grants through the Downtown Façade Grant Project. 

The list of twelve buildings included Jo’s Diner, 261 Main Street, 277 Main Street, 311 Main Street, The Urban Moose Building, The Sarsaparilla Building, 399 Main Street, 415 Main Street, 417 Main Street, 421 Main Street, 455 Main Street, and 479 Main Street. The owners of these buildings applied for the grant money and were awarded a sum by the CDGB Advisory Board. Owners could apply for up to $25,000 but were not guaranteed to receive the amount they applied for. 

Then in January of this year an Engineer from Resurgence Engineering and Preservation came and assessed the buildings to see what work would need to be done with the grant money. The goal of the Grant Program is to restore the Downtown area and improve it while keeping with the historic goal. Some of the projects were simple cosmetic fixes while other involved more involved work. 

The job of the planning board was to review the proposed repairs and plans by the engineer and approve them based on the city code pertaining to the downtown. Some of the plans are more extensive than the others but the engineer made recommendations based on high priority to low.

Jim Porter: Safety is our number one priority with all of these projects. Any of the issues pertaining to safety need to be completed before any cosmetic work. 

None of the owners have been awarded the grant money as of yet. The Board in charge of the grant funds will award the final amounts at a later date. 

The other item on the agenda of was the election of officers. The Board voted Jim Porter as Secretary, Bill Barnett as Chair, and Richard Ramsey as Vice Chair. The next meeting is scheduled for June 16.