Board: Lewiston City Council

Met: Tuesday night

Cool cities

Issue: Reducing the city’s carbon footprint could save taxes, councilors were told.

The scoop: Lamey-Wellehan owner Jim Wellehan and Ward 6 Councilor-elect Elizabeth Dube urged councilors and Mayor Larry Gilbert to join the Cool Cities Maine effort and cut back on energy consumption. Fifteen Maine cities, including Auburn and South Portland, have already joined the effort.

Up next: City Administrator Jim Bennett said the city has made efforts to cut back, replacing city streetlights with efficient LEDs. He suggested future steps should be up to newly elected councilors when they take office in January.

Excise rebates

Issue: A new state law lets cities rebate excise tax surpluses when residents sell old expensive cars and get a cheaper one.

The scoop: Lewiston gives credit when residents register new cars but does not rebate excise taxes if the amount paid on an old car is higher than owed on the new car. The new program could cost the city $18,000 in revenues, according to Bennett, and would give rebates to some new Lewiston residents who have registered their old cars in other Maine cities.

Up next: Councilors voted against it.

Senior housing

Issue: Community Concepts will get an additional nine months to complete an office, part of a senior housing project at 250 Bates St., the site of the old St. Dom’s school.

The scoop: The developers will have until September 2009 to complete an office building, originally scheduled to be finished in one year. The office building will be part of a two building complex that includes a 30-unit, 35,000-square-foot, three-story apartment building. Work on the housing development should wrap up next February.

Up next: Councilors agreed to the additional time.

Tasers, disaster training

Issue: A federal Department of Justice grant sets aside money to help state and local police agencies get equipment and train for special circumstances.

The scoop: Lewiston police are eligible for $51,591 through the Justice Assistance Grant. If the grant is approved, police will use the money to purchase Tasers, conduct disaster drill training and purchase equipment for their training room.

Up next: Councilors agreed to apply for the money. Police should find out if they’ll get the grant next year.

Scheduling

Issue: Councilors will not meet again until December because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

The scoop: Councilors normally meet twice each month, and their second regular meeting would be scheduled for next week, two days before Thanksgiving. Councilors voted to skip that meeting this month.

Up next: They’ll resume their regular schedule next month, meeting on Dec. 4 and 18.

Police get drug-bust money

Issue: The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency shares the proceeds from drug busts with the other police agencies involved. In Lewiston’s case, that money is put into a special account to help pay for drug enforcement actions.

The scoop: Councilors on Tuesday accepted proceeds from three drug arrests, amounting to a share of $26,000 in seized assets and the sale of a Harley-Davidson Fat Boy motorcycle.

Liquor licenses

Issue: Local restaurants and bars must reapply for liquor licenses and amusement permits each year. Liquor licenses let them serve alcohol; amusement permits let them play music, have a DJ or karaoke, or have games on site.

The scoop: Councilors approved a new liquor license for Irish Twins Pub, 743 Main St.

They renewed a special amusement permit for Fishbones American Grill, 70 Lincoln St.

Contact government reporter Scott Taylor via phone at 689-2846 or via E-mail at [email protected]


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