Update: The Wiscasset Board of Selectmen’s meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 23 has been canceled. The selectmen plan to meet Tuesday, Jan. 30.
The agenda for the meeting had included an update from the town’s attorneys on the town’s litigation with the Maine Department of Transportation, but Town Manager Marian Anderson, on Tuesday afternoon, said the update would not take place.
“This morning, we learned from the town’s lawyers that there has been an unexpected development in connection with the settlement negotiations with (the DOT), Anderson said in an email. “We are working with our lawyers and with (the DOT) to get through that development. As a result, however, we will not be discussing or voting tonight on any proposed settlement on the pending lawsuit.”
The Jan. 23 meeting had been moved to the Wiscasset Community Center to accommodate the large crowd expected.
The selectmen met with attorneys Peter L. Murray and John Shumadine in executive session Tuesday, Jan. 16. The selectmen did not take action after the closed-door session.
In November 2017, the selectmen voted 3-1 to hire legal counsel to sue the DOT. The town wants the DOT to reconsider parts of its $5 million downtown improvement project, including the elimination of parking on Main Street and the demolition of the Water Street building known as Haggett’s Garage. The town also wants the DOT to comply with town ordinances before it carries out the project.
In June 2016, Wiscasset voters overwhelmingly approved the DOT’s Option 2 project, which included the elimination of Main Street parking and the demolition of Haggett’s Garage.
In June 2017, a citizen’s petition prompted another vote on the issue, asking voters if they disapproved of DOT changes to Option 2, including the department’s decision to proceed without federal funding. The article passed 400-323.