MECHANIC FALLS — More details about a proposal to move the library to the former Railroad Depot Building were outlined in a letter from Town Manager Zachary Maher to residents, posted last week on the town’s Facebook page.

Voters will be asked Tuesday if they want town officials to enter into a lease agreement with the owner of Depot Square LLC to use the building for the library.

The library was originally included in a relocation of the Town Offices and Police Department to the former medical building at 22 Pleasant St. Because of space restrictions and a desire to reduce relocation costs, however, it was suggested the town find another location for the library.

If the library is not part of the move to the medical building, according to the town, much of the existing floor plan in the medical building can be retained and “a majority of the existing wiring, lighting and ceiling grid” could be utilized, saving an estimated $150,000 in relocation costs.

“The entire premise of the potential savings lay in finding a third location for the library that is both 1) larger than the 600 square feet in the existing floor plan and 2) centrally located downtown,” Maher wrote in his letter.

“The Railroad Depot Building is closer to 900 square feet, already possessing an open concept that can accommodate the needs of the library … (and is) conveniently in one of the busiest lots downtown between the Post Office and the grocery store.”


Maher added, “The condition of the building, improvements to be made at landowner’s expense and lease terms are still under negotiation and cannot be completed without voter approval.”

Additionally, Maher wrote: “The initial terms appear very favorable to the town and many of the concerns I have heard raised (accessibility, environmental conditions, plowing, etc.) are being discussed as part of this ongoing process.

“The rent and build-out is part of the ongoing negotiation process. If the town pays for a portion of the renovations to the Depot Building it would be safe to assume that any rental abatements would be reflective. The building is handicapped accessible with dedicated parking and access from the rear of the building. The addition of a ramp on the front of the building and further improvements would be future conversations based on priorities laid out by the library trustees and the council.”

There are existing funds within the town’s budget that could, at the council’s discretion, be used to fund the proposed lease and relocation expense into the next year, according to Maher.

Last November, voters authorized town officials to seek a bond of $724,311 to move the Town Offices, Police Department and library to the medical building. Of that amount, $500,000 was to go toward the cost of the move and renovation, with the rest refinancing the $224,311 remaining on a loan for past renovations to the current Town Office.

A more-recent cost estimate for the proposed move and renovations came in at $246,952, not $500,000, and town councilors then sought to further decrease the amount.


The architect who did the most recent estimate said the town could save an additional $150,000 if the library were not part of the move, because it would require fewer renovations to the medical building.

This prompted town officials to consider the Depot Building as a site for the library. The council believes a rental agreement would cost less in the long run than adding $150,000 to the cost of the Town Office move.

According to town officials, while $500,000 was approved by voters for the move and renovations, councilors can bond for less, also saving interest costs.

The special town meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Municipal Building.

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