FARMINGTON — Selectmen on Tuesday night unanimously voted to reject a $14,000 Efficiency Maine grant that would have helped fund an EV charging station downtown.

At the March 14 meeting, a request for nearly $26,000 for the station failed to win approval from selectmen because they weren’t sure if funding had already been approved and other grants might be available to pay for it. Former Town Manager Christian Waller had signed a contract to have the station installed in the municipal parking lot that is accessed from Main and Broadway streets.

Two weeks later the decision was tabled so the Downtown TIF Committee could meet and consider the project. Funds from the Downtown Tax Increment Financing account were proposed for financing, but the committee was never approached about the project.

The committee unanimously recommended the town not accept the grant, Interim Town Manager Cornell Knight said. The equipment had been shipped to Farmington, was refused and sent back, he noted.

Selectman Dennis O’Neil asked about the committee’s reasons.

The location didn’t feel like a good place to put them, as snow is currently plowed in that direction and other potential locations, said Selectman Joshua Bell, who also serves on the committee.


In other business, the Board of Selectmen by consensus approved Knight’s continuation in that interim role while away on a vacation planned before he was hired. Knight said he would be back mid-May, could log onto his laptop remotely, had a process in place for completing purchase orders, would have voicemail and could be available by Zoom if needed. “I can check in daily while I am gone,” he noted.

Chairman Matthew Smith said selectmen didn’t have anything major coming up.

When asked about potential pay changes, Knight said he is only paid for the time he spends working for Farmington, which would probably be an hour per day while he works remotely.

The board is in the middle of the search process for the next town manager.

“I would enjoy the continuity,” Selectman Stephan Bunker stated.

Patty Haggan, Farmington Downtown Association president, shared that an accessible portable toilet is being considered downtown. There is $3,000 in the Public Works budget earmarked for downtown beautification, she said. She and Phil Hutchins, Public Works director, had discussed best uses of that money.


Haggan obtained a quote from Brackett’s Pumping, Hutchins got ones from Orr’s Septic & Toilet Rentals for accessible and regular toilets, she said. Orr’s was a bit cheaper, and the association supports the accessible one being placed in the parking lot, she noted.

The toilet would be in the lot for a five-month period from June 1 to the end of October, at a cost of $225 per month or $1,125 out of the beautification budget, Haggan said. It benefits the businesses downtown with the influx of tourist traffic, the bus tours, and is an option for businesses that don’t offer public restrooms, she noted.

O’Neil asked if signage would be needed to inform people.

Information could be posted on the website and businesses downtown could point it out, Haggan replied.

“It’s long overdue,” Smith said.

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