Feb. 7, 1990

Mayor Fred C. Wescott is looking into his power to order all parked cars off Westbrook streets for snow plowing. He told the City Council Monday that the Public Works Department had to deal with “a lot of cars illegally parked” in the snowstorm Sunday. “I’ll be asking the Legal Department,” Wescott said. “A mayor should have the power to order that cars be removed from the streets even during daytime hours. Portland does this, and other communities do.”

The Westbrook City Council voted 5-2 Monday to look at allowing gas stations everyplace along Main Street from Lamb Street on the east to Conant Street on the west. In doing so, the council refused to vote on Ralph Leo’s request for rezoning just the corner lot at Lamb and Main streets to allow him to continue to sell gasoline an Ralph’s Mobil. Council President Kenneth Lefebvre told Leo that the city can decide by early April whether to relax its longstanding rule against gas stations on most of Main Street. Leo stopped selling gas last May but can start again within one year under his present zoning. Leo’s lot has been a gas station since the 1920s. New state requirements for fiberglass tanks will force him into a $100,000 investment if he is to continue selling gas. He asks for zoning that will allow him to make that decision in the future instead of right now.

Westbrook is asking the Council of Governments to provide a planning consultant while it seeks a permanent successor to Keith Kohanski, who was city planer. He resigned, effective Jan. 26, to work for C-E Environmental Inc., Portland, successor to the E.C. Jordan Co. He had been the city’s planner for a year and a half. The city agreed to pay up to $35 an hour for 25 hours and week for 17 weeks for a COG planner’s services.

Former Westbrook policeman Peter J. Blanchette can have his job back, says the Maine Superior Court, but the local police union isn’t celebrating yet. The city says it will appeal the case to the Maine Supreme Court. He was fired in September 1988 for allegedly leaking information about a pending state police investigation to a suspect who had other business and personal ties to the Westbrook Police Department.

North Gorham’s Don Sibley has been called unexpectedly to Nicaragua by the National Council of Churches to serve on the committee overseeing voting in that country. He has lived in Gorham for two years with his wife, Anna Grant Sibley, after 27 years in Nicaragua as a missionary. He left Jan. 15 and will return in March.

Sophomore Brendan Rielly, Westbrook, is one of two assistant news editors of the Bowdoin Orient newspaper this semester. Rielly, son of Mr. and Mrs. Edwad Rielly, 6 Colony Road, is a dean’s list student majoring in government and minoring in Russian. He was an American Journal news carrier for several years.

Feb. 9, 2000

Evidently not convinced that Mark Merrill was really going to be the owner of Andy’s Tavern, Westbrook’s municipal officers voted 6-2 Monday not to grant a new liquor license to him. Current owners Jerry King and Patricia Levecque, whose license renewal was denied by the city in August, are operating the bar while appealing that denial. Merrill told the municipal officers Monday that he learned of the bar’s license troubles while golfing with King and became interested in buying the business. City staff attorney Rick Sullivan said after the meeting that he expects to argue Friday with David Turesky, lawyer for King and Levecque, before the judge of the state Administrative Court in Portland, on a request by them to be able to operate Andy’s indefinitely pending a decision on their appeal.

The Westbrook School Committee will meet tonight to consider sanctioning and funding a junior varsity girls lacrosse team at the high school this spring. Last year the committee sanctioned a club lacrosse team that was paid for through player fees and fundraisers. Coach Richard Bouthilette is asking the committee to approve a schedule of eight to 12 games against other sanctioned JV lacrosseF teams in the SMAA and Western Maine Conference.

The Gorham Planning Board voted Monday to recommend that the Town Council approve a proposed telecommunications tower ordinance it has been working on for months. The maximum height would be 150 feet in the suburban residential and manufactured housing park districts. As many as two additional users could be granted an additional 20 feet each in the rural, roadside commercial and industrial district if the 150-foot design is accepted. A freestanding tower would not be allowed in the village center.

Preliminary talks have begun on moving the maintenance of school buses to Gorham’s new, 18,000-square-foot public works building when it is completed next fall. They are currently maintained next to Shaw School by a half-time mechanic employed by the school department. Gorham residents approved spending $1.7 million on the building in a November referendum.

Designs are being completed for a new residence hall on the University of Southern Maine campus in Gorham. The hall would house 224 students and would open in September 2001. A formal public hearing is expected to be held in March. If the dorm is not built, the campus will face a shortfall by 2007. USM hasn’t built a new residence hall in Gorham since 1970. The new hall would be located on the parking lot site just below the field house, near USM’s School Street entrance.

Joining in a project of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, members of the Westbrook Woman’s Club have made 100 dolls and filed 52, 12-by-14-inch drawstring bags with child-size personal care items, both to be given to children awaiting surgery in this and 16 other countries.

The sidewalk in front of the Westbrook Trust Co. is piled high with snow after the Blizzard of 1952. The photo is looking east. The building with the millinery sign, next to the bank, was occupied by Alice St. Pierre and was the original Westbrook Trust Co. building. This building was torn down to make a driveway for thepresent Bank of America. To see more historical photos and artifacts, visit the Westbrook Historical Society at the Fred C. Wescott Building, 426 Bridge St. It is open Tuesdays and Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon, and the first Wednesday of each month at 1:30 p.m., September-June. Inquiries can be emailed to [email protected] The website is www.westbrookhistoricalsociety.org. Photo and research courtesy of Mike Sanphy

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