Calais City Council Looks Ahead to Winter Needs

Councilors Artie Mingo and Eddie Moreside get sworn in by city clerk Theresa Porter at last Thursday’s meeting. Both Mingo and Moreside won the seats they held previously. (Photo by Kaileigh Deacon)

By Kaileigh Deacon

The Calais City Council met for the first time since the November 6th elections last Thursday. The agenda was short and mostly organizational. Councilors Eddie Moreside and Artie Mingo were sworn in to their seats prior to the meeting and took the seats they had previously held on the council. 

One item on the agenda was the consideration of the purchase of a new loader for the Public Works department. Skeet Seelye went to Lebanon to check out the loader they had been looking at and came back to the council with a report. Seelye reported that the loader was in fair condition at best and really too big for what the City needs it for.

“I think we’re all in favor of the idea of a loader but it’s just a matter of finding one,” said Mayor Billy Howard.

Seelye also looked into the possibility of renting a loader for the winter but the minimum cost for what they need would be $4,000 a month with a requirement of a five-month minimum. 

To get the city through the winter Seelye and the Public Works Department have been looking into what it would take to rig up the current loader the city already has for use during the winter. The cost for a plow and wing and the coupling would be around $40,000. The work to rig the loader would take a little bit but the city would likely get the full winter’s use out of it and have the system set for future years. 

The council unanimously approved the decision to purchase the plow, wing and coupling with a maximum expenditure of $45,000 which if exceeded will be brought back before the Council. 

City Manager Jim Porter also presented the council with a letter he received regarding the property the city owns on Shattuck Road. The city had an interested buyer but due to delays, the sale has not gone through yet. The city added into the purchase agreement that the building on the property must be torn down no later than July 1, 2019. The purchaser requested that the city extend the teardown date until September 1, 2019. Due to the delay, the council agreed to the change. 

Porter also told the council that Cal Jeanroy brought in paperwork for an Economic Development loan awarded by the city. The plan was brought in two days prior to the council meeting and the council agreed to add the consideration of the loan to the next agenda on November 15. 

In his mayoral address to the council and the attendees at last Thursday’s meeting, Mayor Billy Howard had the following to say:

“Hopefully we can continue to do what we’ve been doing, being somewhat fiscally responsible and focusing on infrastructure as much as anything. Due to this council, we have brought a lot of focus to the county budget and gotten more press and more people participating in the county budget process.”

The council will work in the coming weeks on interviewing considerations for the Library Director position. The interviews will take place in person and via the internet. 

“I want to thank the public for getting out and voting,” said Eddie Moreside.

 

The next city council meeting will be held on Thursday, November 15 at 6 p.m.