Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s administration has zeroed in on a site to build a new facility for forensic psychiatric patients held in state custody. The governor said during a Thursday morning radio interview that he expects to identify the site early next week.

Though he did not disclose the location, LePage appears to be following through on his stated intention to choose a site outside Augusta after Democratic legislative leaders’ opposition stalled his plan to build the facility next to the state-run Riverview Psychiatric Center on Augusta’s East Side. LePage previously said his administration is considering sites in Brunswick, Freeport, southern Maine and the Bangor area.

LePage said during an interview on WGAN radio that he was meeting with Department of Health and Human Services officials and others Thursday morning to discuss the new site, with hopes of picking one.

The Legislative Council, a 10-member governing body made up of House and Senate leaders from both parties, has oversight of projects within the boundaries of the Capitol Complex, state-owned land in Augusta. Its votes not to allow the LePage administration to move forward with plans to build the forensic unit near Riverview, which is located within the Capitol Complex, spurred LePage to seek alternative sites.

The Augusta Planning Board had previously approved plans for a forensic unit, which Department of Health and Human Services officials say is required to help Riverview regain federal certification and the millions of federal dollars that hinge on certification.

In other items discussed on WGAN this morning:

• LePage reiterated past concerns that he does not trust the validity of Maine’s voting system. He acknowledged that oversight of the state’s elections rests with Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, a Democrat who has dismissed LePage’s assertions and stood by the election results. LePage said Thursday morning that he will encourage Dunlap to follow up on his concerns that people, mostly college students, who vote in Maine also abide by the state’s residency requirements for drivers’ licenses and vehicle registrations.

• The governor said he will attend President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20 in Washington, D.C.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: