Board: Auburn City Council

Met: Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Milton Street

Issue: Councilors will seek legal advice before they wade into a neighborhood dispute between two Howe Street residents that stretches back to 1985.

The Scoop: At one time the lot at 127 Howe St. was meant to be a street, Milton Street, connecting Howe and Horton streets. Milton Street was never built.

Donald Aube believes he purchased the quarter-acre lot, just north of his 123 Howe St. home, in 1985 and used it to build a septic system for his house. But Donald Dean, at 133 Howe St., claims he has a right to the lot as well and sued Aube.

A 1993 Superior Court decision ruled that neither neighbor had clear claim to the parcel. The city eventually filed a tax lien on the land and put it up for sale in 1998, but has never been able to close a deal. City Manager Glenn Aho said he even attempted to broker a deal to split the land in half between the neighbors.

No matter what deal the city works out, Aho said it’s likely it will be challenged by one of the neighbors.

Up Next: Councilors agreed to get a legal opinion on the property before making any decisions.

Committees

Issue: Councilors have been sparring for weeks about how volunteers can be named to city committees, including the Planning Board and other advisory groups. Previously, two councilors met to review resumes for volunteer positions, then recommended names for councilors to approve.

The Scoop: Councilor Mike Farrell has objected to that policy, preferring to have the full council review resumes, discuss them in executive session and then vote. Councilor Robert Hayes has favored the older process.

Up Next: Councilors tentatively agreed to create a two councilor committee to collect resumes and confirm interest with applicants. Staff will prepare a more formal measure based on that plan.

Signs, signs, signs

Issue: City rules require groups to check with the city before putting up signs on public places and rights of way.

The Scoop: Tuesday, councilors cleared the way for three groups to place signs and banners around the city:

* The Auburn Kiwanis will allowed to put up signs advertising a June 12 pancake breakfast at 12 grassy spots.

* The Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments will put up two signs at the intersection of Court and Lake street to advertise an April 25 and 30 medicine disposal collection at Lewiston’s Farwell Elementary School. AVCOG will also put up signs there advertising the Western Maine Environmental Depot’s May 2-16 household hazardous chemical collection.

* The city also agreed to waive the $100 fee for the banner advertising Liberty Festival.

Next meeting: Councilors are scheduled to meet for a budget workshop at 5:30 p.m. April 25. The next regular meeting of the Auburn City Council is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, May 2.

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


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