Lewiston considers purchasing lots near downtown park


LEWISTON — Two Oxford Street lots east of Simard-Payne Memorial Park could become city event parking, despite a Planning Board recommendation against buying the land.

City councilors are scheduled to vote Tuesday on purchasing two lots across from Simard-Payne Memorial Park and 2 and 26 Oxford St.

According to city assessing records, the lots are owned by Hoods Realty Inc. and the owners have agreed to sell both lots to the city for $315,000.

According to city assessing records, the two lots are valued at $298,020. The larger lot was the former home of Carquest Auto Parts.

Gil Arsenault, Lewiston’s director of planning and code enforcement, said plans call for razing the building and using the lots as parking for events at Simard-Payne Memorial Park.

“Short term, we would use it for surface parking,” Arsenault said. “Longer term, it could have value as a piece of a much larger redevelopment. The city has other parcels there we own that could be used.”

Tuesday’s council meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the City Council chambers on the bottom floor of Lewiston City Hall.

Planning Board members recommended against the sale at their July 27 meeting by a 4-3 vote, after discussing the matter at several meetings in May and June.

Member Kevin Morissette said he would rather see the city spend the money repairing the nearby bridge that cars and trucks use to get to the park.

“You can’t really get anything across it,” he said. “It’s posted and the city knows it. There are holes in the beam and there are developers that need to get across. I know Museum L-A couldn’t get a crane across to do some of the work. So it is hindering development in an area where we have already spent a bunch of money.”

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