SCARBOROUGH — The Town Council Wednesday night recognized four local heroes, decided to share the position of Town Assessor with Cape Elizabeth, and approved a contract zone amendment for a Mercedes-Benz dealership.
Councilors unanimously approved an amendment to the 2002 contract zone with First Scarborough Realty, whose property at 137 U.S. Route 1 is leased to Prime Motor Group Mercedes-Benz.
Daniel Doucette, Prime general manager, requested an amendment to the contract zone earlier this year. The amendment, which was received favorably by the Planning Board, would allow expansion of the dealership and showroom onto an gas station lot, increased parking, landscaping improvements, and permission to house charitable events on site.
Removal of the Sunoco station would add almost 2,200 square feet of space to the dealership’s property.
“To me, it’s a huge improvement,” Councilor Kate St. Clair said.
Councilors also voted unanimously to share the Cape Elizabeth tax assessor, Matthew Sturgis.
Susan Russo has been filling in as interim assessor since late February, when Bill Healey left the post. She will return to assistant tax assessor under Sturgis.
Town Manager Tom Hall said that the town conducted a “conventional recruitment process” to fill the position before “we looked to our neighbor” and the possibility of a partnership.
Sharing Sturgis is “the most cost-effective of all the options I looked at,” Hall said.
He said he believes sharing the assessor’s job could become standard practice in greater Portland communities in coming years.
Councilor Peter Hayes said he thought this option showed “great leadership.”
“The future of shared services may become a model in towns,” Hayes said.
Scarborough’s previous cost for a town assessor was approximately $100,000 a year. The town will be responsible for 40 percent of Sturgis’ employment costs, including salary and benefits, or approximately $53,000 annually. His total annual salary will be $99,500.
Scarborough will pay Cape Elizabeth for Sturgis’ services on a monthly basis.
The shared-services agreement is for one year, after which it will automatically renew unless one of the towns opts out, Hall said.
Michael Libby, Jason Plummer, Jake Shaw and David Hamilton, came to the rescue of Gloria Heatley, 84, on March 25 when her apartment at 223 Gorham Road caught fire.
Police Chief Robbie Moulton and Fire Chief Michael Thurlow presented acts of bravery certificates to the four men at Wednesday’s council meeting. Heatly was present, her arm in a sling and the gash she sustained in the fire still visible on her head.
Her son, Craig Pooler, told the men his family “can’t show enough gratitude for what you did that day. You guys are incredible.”
Councilor Shawn Babine said, “No matter how big we get, it truly is a town, it truly is a community, it truly is a family.”