WESTBROOK — The City Council gave preliminary approval Monday to a $139,445 bid from Bagala Window Works of Westbrook to restore and repair historic windows at Walker Memorial Library, a project that has been held up for two years.

Also Monday, the council took a step toward improving the city forest behind the community center and decided to apply for grants to fix the boat ramp off  Lincoln Street near the old ice rink.

In addition to fixing the windows in the library’s older wing, the project, paid for by a Community Development Block Grant for about $70,000 and another $69,000 from designated funds, includes outfitting the the entire library with storm windows.

Grants for the project were initially awarded in 2018, but bids came in too high and the work was put off.

City Administrator Jerre Bryant credited library Director Rose Bebris with spearheading and quickly restarting the “much-needed” project that “had been floundering for nearly two years, for real reasons.”

Councilor Michael Shaughnessy was pleased the work would finally take place.

“As a professor, I have used this building as an example in class in terms of art and design, so I really appreciate seeing it preserved,” said Shaughnessy said

Councilors gave preliminary approval to an agreement with TJD&A Landscape Architects & Planners of Yarmouth to develop a master plan for the city forest. The city hopes to add trails and benches and other hiking amenities.

The city forest project will be funded through the Land & Water Conservation Fund.

The council also agreed to applying for grants to extend and reburbish the Lincoln Street boat ramp. That work will include the removal of invasive plants to open up a view of the river and the addition of lighting around the ramp and in the ice rink parking lot.  The ice rink itself is slated for a separate and complete makeover.

The poll location for the March 3 primary was set. All wards will vote at the Community Center as they did for the first time during the November election.

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