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City Council briefs

Jan 07, 2021
Photos by: Kendra Caruso Structures at 101 Patterson Hill Road, right, and 107 Patterson Hill Road are expected to be demolished by the city of Belfast.

Belfast — City to remove three trees, reinforce one

City Council approved the removal of three trees and pruning of one at its Jan. 5 meeting. Public Works Director Bob Richards made the recommendations based on evaluations from Treewise Arboriculture.

Two trees on Highview Terrace and one at 25 Congress St. will be removed, and a tree at 145 Charles St. will be cabled to prevent it from further storm damage. All of the trees are on city property.

— Kendra Caruso

City seeks prices for demolishing two Patterson Hill houses

Councilors decided Jan. 5 to seek estimates for the demolition of two houses at 101 and 107 Patterson Hill Road.

Codes and Planning Director Bub Fournier said he discovered the properties were beyond saving after receiving several complaints in February 2020. There are no windows or doors on the structures, and they present a danger to people who might trespass on the property.

He issued an order for the buildings to be demolished last March, but has not had any communication with property owner David Hutchings since, he said. The properties are valued at over $100,000 and are in a desirable location.

The structures could be removed for $3,000 to $5,000, he said. Councilors agreed to allow him to seek estimates for the demolition. They would prefer to lien the property and did not favor taking the property from the landowner over demolition costs that are far below its market value.

Councilor Mary Mortier acknowledged that certain areas of Belfast have become gentrified and Patterson Hill is one of those places. She said she wants to create an equitable and fair policy that protects people from losing their homes and discourages gentrification.

Councilors agreed that a lien would let them recoup their costs while allowing the homeowner to keep the property.

— Kendra Caruso

CMP to place 10 new utility poles on Perkins Road

Central Maine Power will place 10 new poles running west along Perkins Road to reinforce electrical infrastructure for SunRaise Investment’s new solar field. Councilors approved the pole permits Jan. 5.

Councilor Mike Hurley said between Nordic Aquafarms’ proposed land-based fish farm, Mathews Brothers Co. and the new solar development, Perkins Road has become more than just a rural route. It is becoming a choice place for developments that are not practical inside the Route 1 bypass.

SunRaise recently completed construction, and is poised to give discounts to 16,734 homes and small businesses consuming CMP electricity. For more information about how to apply for the discount, visit sunraiseinvestments.com.

— Kendra Caruso

City agrees to allow one student to join Climate Crisis Committee

City Council agreed Jan. 5 to allow Regional School Unit 71 to appoint one Belfast student to the Climate Crisis Committee as a full member on a rolling basis. Councilor Paul Dean voted against the measure.

The district would be allowed to appoint the student based on academic standing, availability and other factors regarding student conduct, Climate Crisis Committee Chairman Jon Beal said. This student would act as a representative for Belfast students and a communicator between the committee and the district.

Prospective committee members usually must submit an application and have an interview with the City Council before being appointed. But Beal said the district is better suited to appoint the student because of its oversight of student academics.

Dean did not support the student's being a voting member of the committee, because it might violate the city charter. But because the committee has no quasi-judicial power and serves only as an advisory committee to the council, Beal said he does not believe it violates the charter.

Four other councilors agreed with Beal. Councilor Neal Harkness said not allowing the student to have equal opportunities as other committee members might result in a high turnover rate and be seen by students as a halfhearted effort to include them.

Councilor Mike Hurley said climate change will be a much bigger issue for young people in their lives than in the lives of people in the age range of the council and student voices should be considered. “The climate crisis will be affecting them in their lives much longer than us,” he said.

— Kendra Caruso

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Comments (1)
Posted by: Patricia Edith Kaplan | Jan 08, 2021 07:46

A Post, Post, Modern Song


What climate change you talkin' bout,

it's not a problem, we'll be fine,

in our lifetime, in our lifetime.

But in your lifetime, not so much...

things, they are a'changin'.

It's really not an issue, excuse me, you got a tissue?

my eyes they're a-burning and my belly she's a-churning

I just drank some well water, cost me only a quarter

yep, I've still some to sell, at the bottom to sell,

it's a little bit gritty, as I write down this ditty,

while coins they rock-it, in my back pocket

so here's sockin' it to ya youngins,

the times they are a'changin'.

The permits are a-passin', the permits are a-passin'

now excuse me if you will, something's coming up or maybe down

it's gas or a puke, always happens when I the bay aka, the warm luke,

but don't you worry ' bout us oldies, we'll be fine as kind,

sorry youngin's not so much for you, for the times they are a'changin'

and now as I'm thinkin,' maybe Woodstock should've been less drink'in

but hey, we were too busy having our fun, not like you serious ones,

we must use it up, use it up, use it up.

so remember our dear children, like we always said,

the one with the most toys when they die, wins,

or was it loses?

 

~ PE Kaplan




 



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