Lewiston city councilors yesterday voted to pull out of a joint downtown plan with Lewiston’s neighbor, Auburn, ending a months-long effort to write a shared downtown master plan.
A group of volunteers had been meeting for the past two months to write a joint downtown plan, setting planning policies for Lewiston and Auburn that would complement each other, the Sun Journal reported. The cities have been dancing around the idea of sharing resources and departments for several years.
But Lewiston councilors said the 18 months the volunteer group needed to write up the agreement was too long, and that city staff, rather than committees, would be better at finding cost savings. One councilor was skeptical of the efforts to join the cities. “Twin Cities really is the best name for us,” Councilor Robert Reed said. “From the outside, we look like twins. We really do, to people from around Maine. But from the inside, we’re very different. There is just not the public will to combine services, so efforts to do it will never move forward.”