New Gloucester voters OK money for new garage

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NEW GLOUCESTER — Residents on Monday narrowly voted to fund a new six-bay town garage and salt shed at 611 Lewiston Road. The secret ballot vote was 168-138.

The thirty-vote margin came after voters argued about safety, site location choice and impact to taxes.   

Voters also approved amending the Pineland Municipal Development Tax Increment Financing District to allow part of the debt payments for the $4.6 million highway department for 13 years, the life of the TIF.

Before the vote, town officials were blamed for not making any repairs to the Upper Gloucester garage building for the past 10 years.

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“There has been zero capital dollars of improvements in the town garage and we continue to let it go,” Peter Bragdon said.

Beverly Cadigan and Jim Fitch of the Town Garage Committee appointed by selectmen clarified information for voters.

Emergency Management Director Tim Joy said, “I don’t like the site at 611 even for the fire station. There is more road rage on Route 202/100 southbound.” 

Selectman Stephen Hathorne said Ganneston Construction of Augusta, the contractor for the project, “bought signs that two highway department employees were putting up all over town. They stand in line to get a lot of money if this is approved.”

Don Libby said the town garage in Upper Gloucester is not suitable for expansion without a variance and gives no chance of future expansion.

Town officials said Monday’s voter turnout was the largest they remember. It took 50 minutes to register voters.

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