Wide range of issues awaits Yarmouth Town Council

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YARMOUTH — Improvements to the town garage, the future of the Royal River dams, infrastructure upgrades, budget priorities and zoning amendments are a few of the topics the Town Council will face beginning this week.

Discussions will get underway with a workshop Thursday at 7 p.m. at the American Legion Cabin at 196 Main St. On Monday, Jan. 9, the council will meet again as the Operations Committee – a committee of the whole council – at 6 p.m. in the Community Room at Town Hall.

The agenda for Thursday’s workshop includes discussion of a resolution for the future of the Bridge Street and East Elm dams. Councilors previously indicated a preference to remove both dams, and will plan for a Jan. 19 public hearing.

Town Manager Nat Tupper said he will present two options: a resolution supporting removal of the dams, or one to maintain and preserve the structures.

Another item scheduled for Thursday’s discussion will be consideration of project applications for the Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System for the coming year. 

They could include pedestrian and bicycle safety, improvements related to the Route 1 corridor work recently completed by the Gateway Committee, Route 88 shoulder upgrades and road repaving projects.

“There is a process to apply for these projects, and we need council endorsement to move forward,” Tupper said.

The council is expected to discuss amending the Water Oriented Commercial Zone-I to relax the side setback from 30 feet to 10 feet and to allow buildings up to 42 feet in height in the area.

Councilors will also receive the fiscal years 2013-2017 Capital Improvement Plan as recommended by the Planning Board.

Some of the recommendations include funding for village parking and wayfaring signs; improvements to Interstate 295 Exit 17; the short-term, Route 1 phase III plan of the Gateway Committee; waterfront dredging; new code planning and zoning practices; staffing, and improvements to the Town Garage building project. 

On Monday, the Operations Committee will hear a presentation from Scott Teas and Ryan Senatore of TDH Architects and Will Conway of Sebego Technics on the town garage project and the planning progress to date.

Tupper said there have been no cost estimates discussed yet, but the project looks different from previous plans.

“We’ve moved things around and found ways to make connections between the lower level and the ball field area,” he said. “We’ve had meetings with the Little League and the Sports and Recreation Committee and showed them the changes.”

Budget discussions will also start on Monday, with the council expected to set goals and parameters for developing the fiscal 2013 draft budget.

Councilors will also discuss an idea to fund the Yarmouth fuel fund via parking ticket revenue.

“We will discuss the idea and see if the council is interested,” Tupper said.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @amy_k_anderson.

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