NEW GLOUCESTER — Voters at a special town meeting at 7 p.m. Monday will decide whether to approve a new Public Works facility at 611 Lewiston Road and whether to amend a Pineland tax-incentive program.

Voter registration for the meeting at Memorial School on Route 231/Intervale Road will begin at 6:30 p.m.

The Board of Selectmen’s 2-2 tie vote last month on whether to approve a special town meeting prevented voters from weighing in on the project that’s been under study for two years. Selectmen Stephen Hathorne and Joseph Davis opposed the motion.

A citizen-initiated petition campaign spearheaded by Jean Libby, Jane Sturgis, Kathleen Potter and Beverly Cadigan delivered 307 signatures to the board to allow voters to have a say on the garage question.

Hathorne opposes siting the project at 611 Lewiston Road because it could create groundwater pollution.  

The 25-acre site at 611 Lewiston Road is home to the town’s fire and rescue station and was purchased for municipal services.

Oak Point Associates of Biddeford’s study of six potential sites ranked 611 Lewiston Road the top site and ranked the current Upper Gloucester location of the town garage as third.

Opponents say the garage at Upper Gloucester should be included for consideration, though the site is considered too small based on the Oak Point Associates study.

The Upper Gloucester location may not meet the town’s standard of a 30 percent impervious cover, based on wetlands, buffers and set-back requirements.

The town garage in Upper Gloucester has cracked load-bearing walls and crumbling masonry blocks. 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 The building is undersized with outdated mechanical systems and drainage problems along with driveway safety issues.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 six-bay garage and salt shed would allow for mixing sand and salt indoors and would include a truck-washing station to be shared with the Fire Department.

The $4.6 million project will be bonded. The tax impact is estimated to be 24 cents on the tax rate. 

If voters amend the Pineland tax-increment financing document, money would come from that to pay off the debt. 

Signs for and against a new town garage at 611 Lewiston Road in New Gloucester are up along the road. 


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