Auburn City Council

March 5, 2018

Littlefield Dam 

What happened: The City Council gave the OK to the Auburn Conservation Commission to pursue a federal grant that would help fund the removal of the Littlefield Dam in Auburn.

What it means: The Conservation Commission will file a pre-proposal for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grant that could, with matching funds, pay to remove the dam, which was breached in the 1980s, making it obsolete.

The proposal is to allow the commission to file the pre-proposal and then seek outside funding for matching funds. According to the city, there is “substantial interest from outside agencies and nonprofits to restore fish passage to the Little Androscoggin River and finding (an) outside match is likely.”

What’s next: Jordan Tate, the commission chairman, said removing the dam could lead to more recreational opportunities on river — more fishing and better access for kayaks. 

The removal project would cost about $500,000, with the grant taking care of $336,000. Tate said last week during a workshop that removal would be in fall 2019. 

City properties

What happened: The City Council decided to put three properties on the market, while retaining another trio of properties for future use.

What it means: The council gave city staff the authority to put properties on Hackett Road, 10 Lucille St. and 73 Paul St. on the market, while keeping properties at 1 Gamage St., 5 Gamage St. and 143 Hampshire St. in the city’s possession. 

The decision came a week after a City Council workshop on the issue, where another city property became the subject of controversy

Councilors favored holding on to the three abutting properties because of the nearby park and incoming housing project on nearby Troy and Hampshire streets. 

What’s next: While the properties will be put up for sale, the majority of councilors favored putting conditions on the sale that any prospective buyer first commit to building a home on the lot. Councilor Leroy Walker argued that often properties are purchased and stay vacant lots. 

Councilor Andrew Titus argued that the properties had been in the city’s possession for years, and nothing has been done with them. He said to put conditions on the sale was “not productive.” 

City electrician

What happened: The City Council tabled a motion to hire a full-time city electrician, a week after officials were told that the only electrician working for the city would be going on leave soon. 

What it means: No explanation was given for tabling the motion, which passed 5-2. Last week, councilors were told that Auburn at one time had three full-time electricians on staff, which assisted in building inspections and permitting. Now, the only electrician on staff is leaving for an extended period. 

At the time, Mayor Jason Levesque said, “If we don’t have this, we’re slowing down business.” 

What’s next: Last week, Michael Chammings, director of economic and community development, said the city has been getting assistance from Lewiston staff, as well as contracting with private companies. He said Auburn hopes to get back to having two electricians on staff. Lewiston has five electricians, he told the council. 


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