Council works quickly, cancels next meeting

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SCARBOROUGH — Town Councilors had little to say as they met for about 30 minutes Wednesday night. On Oct. 17, they will have less to say, as they canceled that meeting.

Council Chairman Ron Ahlquist said the agenda for the canceled meeting appeared to be light and both council chambers will be used for absentee voting throughout the month. The next scheduled council meeting is Nov. 7.

With Councilor James Benedict unable to attend, the council moved quickly through a light agenda. By unanimous votes, the council amended the Haigis Parkway sewer assessment ordinance, issued a food handler’s license for the new Pleasant Hill Cafe and approved construction of a detention pond at the Settler’s Green Development off Pleasant Hill Road.

The newest amendment to the sewer assessment ordinance allows Town Manager Tom Hall to negotiate extensions of up to six years on agreed-upon deferred payment plans. The extensions could be granted if it is determined that paying on the current schedule would cause undue hardship to the property owners.

The original deferred payment plans allowed property owners 10 years to pay assessments levied to help pay for infrastructure improvements on the Haigis Parkway corridor extending from Payne Road to Route 1.

The assessment ordinance was originally enacted in 2004 and revised in 2006. Hall said the newest revision affects property owners George Curlew and Michael Scamman, who are nearing the end of deferred payment plans and facing substantial “balloon” payments on the balance of the assessment.

Council documents show the Curlew was assessed almost $252,000 and Scamman was assessed $282,500 for improvements as the town sought to recoup about half the total cost of the infrastructure project.

The affected properties are on the market, and Hall said he would consider initial two-year extensions on deferred payments as the market recovers.

Residents of Tenney Lane in the Settlers Green Estates subdivision near Wiley Park are expected to see relief from chronic flooding conditions as councilors approved an easement for the enlargement of an existing stormwater detention pond.

The approval allows Saco-based Normand Berube Builders to expand the pond as part of its stormwater management plan needed for its expansion of the subdivision.

Hall also reported news of an Oct. 25 public hearing regarding a proposed rate increase by the Scarborough Sanitary District.

District Office Manager Sandy Kempton said plans to hold the hearing at Town Hall have changed because of absentee voting in council chambers. The 7:30 p.m. hearing will be held in the Scarborough High School cafeteria.

At 6:30 p.m. On Oct. 24 , a workshop regarding proposed flood plain zoning revisions will be held in the cafeteria at Scarborough Middle School. Changes include requiring new construction and large-scale property renovations in federally defined flood plains to be three feet above the flood line as opposed to the current requirement of one foot.

Hall said the ordinance changes affect about 1,000 properties and will be reviewed by the Planning Board Oct. 29 before a possible second reading by councilors Nov. 7.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.