BELFAST — City Council accepted a revitalization plan at its Aug. 17 meeting. Councilors also decided to move one of the city’s voting locations from The Crosby Center to Tarratine Tribe 13’s building on Main Street. They also accepted a grant to have a company look at the breakwater.

The revitalization plan addresses housing, but also identifies other aspects of city policy like economic development, Economic Development Director Thomas Kittredge said. It lays out four major goals.

The first is to create a variety of housing at a variety of price points, Kittredge said. The second is to increase tourism and visitation to support local businesses. The third is to attract and promote business growth and new investments. And the fourth is to expand the city’s capacity to support revitalization.

The plan recommends policies and projects in the area for which it is developed. It does not expire and is not as involved as a comprehensive plan. The areas the plan encompasses include much of the downtown waterfront and a cluster of parcels on Congress Street.

The city developed the plan, completed by Camoin Associates, in an effort to support Developers Collaborative’s efforts to acquire housing credits from MaineHousing for its Congress Street affordable housing project.

The firm did not acquire the credits after applying last year, because it lacked sufficient points, which is the system used to determine the awarding of credits. The city also placed the proposed Congress Street development in a tax increment financing district to increase its application points. Developers Collaborative will submit another application to MaineHousing for credits this year.

Camoin Associates also completed the city’s Brownfields Revitalization Study, which found a need for more housing in areas inside the Route 1 bypass, but also found that incentives for builders to create housing in the area were lacking.

In other business, the city approved issuing a request for qualifications for an assessment of the breakwater to be completed using funds from a Maine State Planning Shore and Harbor Grant. The study would look at maintenance and future design work to address issues that could arise from sea level rise, Harbor Master Katherine Given said.

Maine State Planning’s Resiliency Project in 2019 identified city infrastructure that will be affected by sea level rise and storm surges, she said in a document submitted to councilors. The city received $29,325 from the grant and will allocate $8,175 of city funds to match it. GEI Wood and Ransom was chosen to do the work.

The city also moved the polling location for wards 3 and 4 from The Crosby Center to the hall owned by Tarratine Tribe No. 13, IORM, at 153 Main St. The city had received complaints about the light and parking situation at The Crosby Center during elections.

Two years ago councilors considered using the Tarratine Hall, also known as Redmen Hall, but ultimately decided to go with The Crosby Center after some residents and Samantha Paradis, mayor at the time, questioned the choice over concerns about racial sensitivity. The Improved Order of Redmen has previously come under criticism over its name being racially insensitive to Native Americans.

A rally was held at The Crosby Center July 27 called Arise USA: The Resurrection Tour, which brought controversial right-wing figures into town who discussed election fraud, resistance to COVID-19 restrictions and conspiracy theories. The rally drew a large crowd of supporters and a crowd of people protesting the event.

Councilors did not discuss the Arise USA rally as being a reason for moving the polling place at the meeting, but Councilor Neal Harkness said a week after the meeting that he had heard from several residents with concerns stemming from that event.

Some residents did not agree with the politics of the event and others thought the event might have spread the coronavirus and had concerns about the venue’s safety.

Harkness said he is sensitive to peoples’ objections over the Tarratine’s name, but it is the venue with the most space and accessibility for voting. “Every solution we considered has drawbacks,” he said. “The Tarratine Hall, despite the problematic name, has the fewest.”