Council appoints new airport master plan advisory committee
Belfast — The Belfast City Council has appointed new members to an airport master plan advisory committee.
The committee will work with the city's aviation consultant, representatives of the Federal Aviation Commission and Maine Department of Transportation on the master plan update process. The city of Belfast is moving into Phase 2 of the master plan update for Belfast Municipal Airport.
The composition of the committee was approved at a council meeting July 15. At its meeting Aug. 5, the city council appointed five at-large members to join Economic Development Director Thomas Kittredge, City Manager Joe Slocum, Assistant City Planner Sadie Lloyd, Council Member Mary Mortier and Airport Advisory Committee chair Jim Truxes on the committee. Robert Dietz, Donna Loomans and Michael McCarthy were appointed as abutters or close neighbors to the airport; Joshua Dickson was appointed as a representative from a business located within Belfast whose clients regularly use the airport; and Jay Foster was appointed as a pilot who regularly uses the airport. One position for a representative from an aviation-related business located within Belfast Municipal Airport remains open.
Kittredge informed the council that a parcel of land within the Belfast Municipal Airport might be swapped for an adjacent parcel on the Maine Army National Guard property in order to accommodate the addition of a parallel taxi lane.
Kittredge requested the council's approval of phase 1 environmental assessments of both properties, which would be required before conducting appraisals of the parcels to be swapped.The assessments would be conducted at no cost to the city, but will be funded through a brownfields grant. The council approved the request.
Revitalization bids rejected
The council rejected all bids for the downtown revitalization project for the area of Cross, Miller and Spring streets. The bids received were all significantly over the estimates of Sebago Technics, the city's engineering firm. City Planner Wayne Marshall suggested putting the project out to bid in January, when contractor firms are lining up their work for the year and the bids are more likely to be lower, with the goal of completing the project over the spring and summer of 2015. He said the Department and Economic and Community Development project grant would end June 30, but the grantors would extend it up to three months, the maximum amount it could be extended. The council voted 5-0 to reject all bids and put the project out to bid again at a more opportune time.