LEWISTON — Residents and city officials will check in next week to discuss how things have improved downtown since May’s fires.

The Lewiston Unites panel will discuss improvements to fire and police safety, housing and development and schools. The discussion is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. Sept. 25 in Callahan Hall, upstairs in the Lewiston Public Library.

Organizer Shanna Rogers said the meeting is an extension of the May 22 Lewiston Unites panel that brought residents to the Longley School to talk about what the community needed to do in the wake of the fires. Topics that night ranged from housing to jobs to quelling illegal activity downtown.

“We asked city officials to remain silent,” Rogers said. “We told them we really wanted them to come and to hear first hand, but we relieved them of the responsibility of responding.”

Next week’s meeting gives those city officials a chance to react to the May discussion.

“This particular event is the opportunity for those folks who were silent to really respond about programs that are occurring, about some of the solutions the community talked about and additionally about solutions we offered that are not really viable,” Rogers said.

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Rogers said that many at the May discussion urged the city to do something with vacant lots downtown.

“But they didn’t realize the city doesn’t own the lots so that’s not a viable solution,” she said.

Panelists include City Administrator Ed Barrett, School Superintendent Bill Webster, police Chief Michael Bussiere, fire Chief Paul Leclair, Code Enforcement Director Gil Arsenault and Economic Development Director Lincoln Jeffers.

“It’s also an opportunity for the different city officials to say where they need help and where we have to partner with the community to realize success,” Rogers said. “Quite a bit has been done since May, so talking about the success of our community is very important.”

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