NEW GLOUCESTER — Public Works Director Ted Shane told residents Wednesday night that he supports building a six-bay public works garage to keep town equipment under cover.
“I’m not a fan of leaving vehicles outside,” he said. “The life expectancy is longer with the six-bay garage over the five-bay garage and will provide security, too.”
Wednesday’s meeting was the first of two on building a six-bay garage for $4.6 million or a five-bay garage for $4.3 million, and an 80- by 160-foot salt shed. The site for both structures is 611 Lewiston Road.
The site is 25 acres and was chosen from among six because it’s got the Fire Department building, has adequate space, suitable soils and slopes, and has the greatest potential for shared services. The site also has an approved road entrance permit off Route 100 issued by the Maine Department of Transportation.
The town garage and salt shed in Upper New Gloucester has cracked load-bearing walls and crumbling masonry blocks. In addition, roof and wall leaks, and water damage and lack of insulation make working conditions difficult. The building is undersized with outdated mechanical systems and drainage problems, along with driveway safety issues.
The proposed five-bay garage will not house all public works vehicles and equipment; the six-bay garage will.
Funds would come from the Pineland Tax Increment Financing Plan Amendment or $58,750 annually for 13 years. Voter approval is sought to amend the TIF document to coincide with project approval.
The tax impact is estimated to be 24 cents on the tax rate, or $259,000 annually. The last year of debt service for the fire station is 2018. It is $140,000 annually.
Beverly Cadigan, who served on the project committee said, “We’ve done things as we can afford them and now it’s time for the Public Works Department to have an environmentally safe building.”
The board named Ganneston Construction Corp. of Augusta as the builder should voters approve the project.
The project has been under study for 27 months, and a committee appointed by selectmen has been reviewing the project for the past 13 months.
The second informational meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 8, at AMVETS Post 6 Hall.
Linda Chase, chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen, said a special town meeting will be held at the end of the month or in early September to decide the issue.