The Westbrook City Council approved Monday the city’s $5.7 million capital improvement plan for fiscal year 2015-16, which includes funds for major street projects, as well as school maintenance.

Councilors approved the plan 7-0 after asking questions about $225,000 that is allotted to pay for school department upkeep such as the roof of Canal Elementary School and iPads and laptops for grades K-4.

Funds were cut from the school department’s budget at the last minute, but added to the city’s capital improvement plan.

Most notably, the plan will pay for widening and adding signals at the intersection of Spring Street and Eisenhower Drive, fund the city’s share of the Bridge Street bridge project and related streetscape improvements, and fund a Cumberland Mills overhaul, which will add a series of traffic lights.

Also included is a culvert replacement on Brown Street, which was damaged this past winter. The completion of the William Clarke Drive improvements, between Mechanic and Conant streets, was not included this year.

City Councilor Paul Emery asked the school department to go into detail on the capital projects that will be funded. Dean Flanagan, the school department’s director of operations, said the projects included security upgrades, roofing, classroom furniture, pavement treatments, maintenance equipment, efficiency lighting and technology.

Councilor Gary Rairdon asked that the department look at utilizing students from the vocational school to work on the electrical projects.

“We do that as often as we can,” Flanagan said.

As part of the large Bridge Street bridge project, which is occurring now, the city is spending an estimated $1.4 million on related public improvements. These include a pedestrian bridge and streetscape enhancements. The majority of the $6.2 million project is funded by the Maine Department of Transportation.

At the Cumberland Mills traffic circle, a series of traffic lights will be added to provide safer travel for motorists and pedestrians. Westbrook is only expected to pay approximately $300,000 of the $1.7 million project.

Also at the meeting Monday, the council approved the disbursement of funds raised for the two families affected by the devastating fire at 94 Pierce St. last month, which destroyed the building and seriously injured one. A total of $2,071 was raised by local church organizations and will be split between the families.


Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: