Utilities District Board Calls Special Vote for 51 S. Main – Waterbury Roundabout
He said he would like to develop it for residential use, although he would prefer 7-9 apartments with commercial space on the ground floor.
Board member Bob Finucane noted that the EFUD board is committed to working with Downstreet to bring this proposal to voters. Volitis said he would like a chance to have his offer considered as well.
“I could buy it tomorrow straight away,” he said. “I have money.”
Finucane said if voters reject Downstreet’s plans then other suggestions could be considered. Council also approved expenditures of up to $1,000 for the consulting firm Stantec to update a downtown parking study with respect to 51 South Main since it is now used for parking. Part of these funds would also go to Downstreet for preliminary drawings of the project they would like to build on the site.
In a later interview, Volitis said he was frustrated with the reception he received. “Let’s have as many proposals as possible,” he said. “I have to mount a campaign against [the Downstreet proposal] just to be heard.
He said he would campaign against Downstreet’s proposal as a way to slow down the process so voters in the district can consider additional options. Last weekend he had already painted several signs and placed them along Main Street urging the public to “vote no” at the October meeting. This week, he added large panels to a construction trailer he drove and parked for a short time at 51 S. Main on Friday.
“Arrive. Rock the vote,” one sign reads. Volitis said the signs have been conversation starters about the project, process and operation of the utility district that few local residents pay close attention to.” I meet my neighbours,” he says.
Darrick Pitstick is another villager with a “vote no” sign for different reasons. “I want the building to match the look of our downtown. There must be businesses/retail on the side of the street and residences on the top,” he said.
Pitstick said he had heard questions about the size of the Downstreet project on this particular plot. “A large apartment building will not contribute to the aesthetics of our downtown. There are several other locations that would make perfect residential apartments, including the Stanley/Wasson location,” he noted, referring to a vacant lot in the state office complex along Park Row where the The state demolished Stanley and Wasson Halls in 2021. This is another location city officials are considering as a potential second location for additional new housing developments. City Manager Bill Shepeluk explained that the process for this to proceed would require legislative approval and take longer, making it a longer-term option for a project in addition to building 51 S. Main.
Flanders said the utility district board hopes to address some of the concerns raised so far at its next meeting on October 12. elevation views to present at the next meeting,” he said.
The case of the ice center is solved
In other cases last week, the District Council addressed the issue of calculating a fine to be assessed for the ice center which was found to be in violation of water utility regulations due to a leak long-term in a water tank at the rink from September 2021 until March this year.
A calculation based on the duration and weather conditions that allowed the leak concluded that the fine should be $2,150. The district council with representatives from the ice center present agreed that the fine could be paid with an in-kind contribution of free skating time to the community.
Rink officials said that would translate to 10 hours of skating time and the rink would exceed that number. He has already started advertising free skating sessions.
Further discussions centered on an Urban Development Action Grant Loan the Ice Center has with the District (formerly with the Village) to restructure terms. The principal of the loan is $529,800. Commissioners voted unanimously to charge no interest and to defer all payments on the loan for five years, revisiting the matter in September 2027.
Tribute to Carla Lawrence
In a nod to retired City Clerk Carla Lawrence, who also served as EFUD’s first clerk, council passed a resolution of recognition and appreciation in her honor. The proclamation thanks Lawrence for his “exemplary service” and wishes him well in retirement. The resolution is included in the September 14 meeting minutes posted on the city’s website.