Auburn City Council Workshop and regular meeting

July 18, 2016

Auburn Hall 

Timber sales

What happened: Money from the timber cut from city land and sold used to go exclusively into a fund, Community Cords, that helped low-income residents pay for heating. That would no longer be the case, councilors said.
What it means: Councilors on Monday voted to put that money, roughly $30,000 every few years, into a city discretionary account they control. That will allow future city councils pay for the Community Cords program, or put the money to a different use.
What’s next: Councilors will vote on it for a final time at their next meeting. Community Cords remains available for residents who need help. Call 333-6601 for more information.  

Ambulance fee

What happened: Councilors on Monday tabled new rules for handling ambulance transport charges.
What it means: Councilors decided the issue was too detailed and confusing and put off a vote on it until September, giving residents more time to discuss the changes with them.
The city began transporting patients in city ambulances almost two years ago and has billed patients and insurance companies almost $2.2 million in that time but it hasn’t had a written policy dealing with those payments. It includes how to bill, who to charge, requires the city to consider financial hardships based on federal poverty guidelines and grants waivers or fee reductions based on income guidelines.
What’s next: The issue will come back to the council agenda in September.  

Industrial park

What happened: Auburn wants to tap into revenues from the city’s Airpark business and industrial complex to repay bonds for airpark roads and utilities and to help pay for future economic development projects.
What it means: The city and the Auburn Business Development Corp. helped set up the industrial park off Kittyhawk Avenue and Lewiston Junction Road in 2006, paying for the work with bonds and federal grants. So far, the city has paid $1.7 million in bonds with $2.4 million due over the next 10 years.
Councilors voted to adopt a new plan to use some of the park’s revenues and passed a resolution calling for negotiations with the business development corporation.
According to Auburn’s offer, the development corporation would get control of half of the revenues of site sales, while 20 percent would be set aside to repay the city for capital work there. The rest, about 30 percent, would go to future economic development around the city.
What’s next: Now, it’s up to the business development corporation to see if it is willing to negotiate that new deal with the city.

Flea market rebate

What happened: Councilors rebated $50 in fees to a team raising money for The Dempsey Challenge last weekend.
What it means: Bicyclists from medical supplier McKesson’s Lewiston operation set up a flea market in the parking lot of Shaw’s supermarket this past weekend, paying the same $50 fee all flea market operators pay. But since the event was a fundraiser for The Dempsey Challenge and all proceeds go to the charity, councilors agreed to give the group back its $50.

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