Portland City Council Weekly Roundup for October 2–6, 2017

Public hearings and votes to sell land in Bayside to developers, first reading of senior tax relief program and LED streetlight conversion plan, public hearing on TIF policy changes, public hearing on the Camelot Farm subdivision proposal in Stroudwater.


> Monday October 2 @ 5:30pm—City Council Meeting

City Hall, Council Chambers (second floor, to the left)

Key agenda items:

  • Public hearing and vote on the sale of a small parcel of City-owned land in Bayside at 56 Parris Street to real-estate developer Jack Soley for $175,000. This parcel is currently used as a surface parking lot for City Public Works employees. Mr. Soley’s non-binding proposal includes about 20 one-bedroom market-rate condos priced at under $200,000. Public comment WILL be taken.
  • Public hearing and vote on the sale of a small parcel of City-owned land in Bayside at 82 Hanover Street to Port Property Management owner Tom Watson for $2.4 million. This parcel is currently a facility for the storage and maintenance of City Public Works vehicles and snow removal trucks. Mr. Watson’s non-binding proposal includes the relocation Port Property
    Managements headquarters from 104 Grant Street to 82 Hanover Street and street-level retail space in the warehouse-like building. Public comment WILL be taken.
  • Public hearing and vote on the sale of a small parcel of City-owned land in Bayside at 65 Hanover Street to high-end real-estate development firm Barrett Made for $1.1 million. This large garage-like parcel — often referred to as the “General Store” — is currently is currently empty, but has historically been used for City vehicle operations. Barrett Made’s non-binding proposal includes some kind of “makerspace” as well as an estimated 25 units of low-income or middle-income housing. Public comment WILL be taken.
  • Public hearing and vote on the sale of a small parcel of City-owned land in Bayside at 178 Kennebec Street to real-estate developers Ross Furman and Nathan Szanton for $250,000. This tiny slice of land along Kennebec Street is currently empty and used for parking. The developers’ non-binding proposal includes street-level retail space with an estimated 50 units of housing of varying sizes, with 35% of units selling at market-rate and 65% at affordable rates. Public comment WILL be taken.
  • First reading (e.g. an announcement) of proposed purchase of street lamps from Central Maine Power in order to convert them to energy-efficient and brighter LEDs for $590,000. Public comment will NOT be taken on this item; it will be voted on at the NEXT City Council meeting.
  • First reading (e.g. an announcement) of two $4 million loans from Bank of America Public Capital Group in order to finance the conversion of city street lights to LEDs, to be repaid over ten years with an interest rate of 2.05%. The energy savings from the LED conversion is expected to exceed the $8.6 million total cost of the project, and the company managing the conversion — TEN Connected Solutions, Inc — has guaranteed the annual savings and will reimburse for the amount of any shortfall. Public comment will NOT be taken on this item; it will be voted on at the NEXT City Council meeting.
  • First reading (e.g. an announcement) of the proposed tax-relief program for seniors, which would target seniors 62 years-old or older whose annual income is less than $53,000. This program would provide up to $900 per person to offset the costs of property taxes or rent, based on their income. It is estimated to cost the City around $250,000 annually. Public comment will NOT be taken on this item; it will be voted on at the NEXT City Council meeting.

Read the agenda and associated materials here.


> Tuesday October 3 @ 5:30pm — Economic Development Committee

City Hall, Room 209 (second floor, to the left)

Key agenda items:

  • Public hearing and vote on changes to the City’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) policy, a device used to lure business to the City with tax breaks. Proposed changes include adding requirements for green building standards for TIF-assisted construction projects, requirements that projects employ construction workers at “prevailing” wages for the area (i.e. instead of hiring out-of-state labor at cut-rate wages), among other things. (Consult pages 19–21 of the supplemental materials for more information.) Public comment WILL be taken.
  • Executive (i.e. private) session to discuss ongoing negotiations to sell City-owned land in Bayside (at 44 Hanover Street and 55 Portland Street) and on Riverside Drive.

Read the agenda and associated materials here.


> Wednesday October 4 @ 4:30pm — Planning Board Workshop & Public Hearing

City Hall, Council Chambers (second floor, to the left)

Key agenda items:

  • Public hearing and discussion (no vote yet) on the proposed subdivision of the “Camelot Farm” parcel in Stroudwater into about 100 small lots. For more information about this development, consult this PDF. Public comment WILL be taken.

Read the agenda and associated materials here.