LISBON — The Town Council on Tuesday approved sending an application for a $320,000 Community Development Block Grant for downtown revitalization.

The Route 196 Master Plan Committee and the Economic and Community Development Department are initiating the application.

The town already budgeted $80,000 as the local match for the grant.

If the grant is approved, construction will start in the fall.

Councilors also voted to authorize spending $25,000 as the local match to trigger a $100,000 grant from the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments. The money primarily will be used to pay for work on the town trails project. 

Several parts of the project came in over budget because the estimates were from May 2008 and ground was not broken until September 2013, Public Works Director Ryan Leighton said. The original budget was $1.57 million; the total cost is now $1.92 million.

The council approved an additional appropriation a few months ago, according to Chairman Dillon Pesce. The $125,000 is the last of the shortfall to be covered.

Some members of the public said the town should not allocate any more funds to the project. However, the town is still responsible for paying the bill, Pesce said.

In other business, Recreation Director Mark Stevens said there will be a $5 increase for use of the fitness center, bringing the fee to $15. People 60 years and older will get a discount of $5 under the new fee structure.

The town’s summer day camp fee will also rise to $300 a child, with siblings getting a $25 discount. A new kindergarten/first-grade level has been added. The other two camps will be for children in second through fourth grades, and fourth through eighth grades. Parents of fourth-graders may choose which group they would like for their child.

During the budget workshop, councilors discussed consolidating the parks director and recreation director positions. If the consolidation is approved, Stevens would be given a raise of $10,200 and additional duties.

The council will convene Tuesday, April 14, to approve minutes of Tuesday’s meeting to meet the deadline for applying for the block grant. A budget workshop will follow at 7 p.m.

A regular council meeting is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 21.


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