AUBURN — The Androscoggin River will no longer divide the district attorney’s office in Androscoggin County.
The Androscoggin County Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to enter into a lease agreement for a consolidated district attorney’s office at 55 Lisbon St. in Lewiston.
The address in the granite Depositer’s Trust Co. building is next door to the District Court building.
The offices, on the second floor of the building above U.S. Sen. Susan Collins’ office on Lisbon Street, should require little renovation. District Attorney Andrew Robinson said he hopes the office is fully moved in by Oct. 1.
“They have dealt with so many different challenges,” Robinson said of his staff. “The notion that we’ll all be in one building will be such a huge relief. They’re going to be ecstatic.”
The two offices and the moving of files became an issue when Androscoggin County switched to the Unified Criminal Docket, with all cases first being heard at the District Court in Lewiston.
The district attorney has offices at both the District Court building in Lewiston and the Androscoggin County building in Auburn. Neither location has enough space to consolidate the two offices.
Transporting the court files across the river would take more than 30 minutes per trip, Robinson said last month during his initial presentation to the commissioners.
To avoid having his staff become couriers and transport boxes of files back and forth between the offices, Robinson sought the solution of a consolidated office in Lewiston near the District Court building.
Since the Unified Criminal Docket went into effect July 6, Robinson said his staff has felt the strain.
“It’s been a great deal of traveling back and forth across the river,” Robinson said. “In addition to the normal work effort, there’s the practical impediment that they had to deal with. Now we’re going to be able to focus on their actual jobs as opposed to transporting files.”
Commissioners spent 37 minutes in executive session ironing out the details of the lease with Realtor Kevin Fletcher and commissioners’ attorney Bryan Dench.
With Commissioner Alfreda Fournier missing, the board voted 6-0 to approve the lease agreement.
The source of funding for the new district attorney’s office was unclear Wednesday evening.