AUBURN — The Androscoggin County Commission reviewed a potential bond package that could be sent out to county voters in the next two years.

The proposal, which was reviewed during a workshop Wednesday evening, is still in the early stages of development.

County Administrator Larry Post outlined a list of capital projects with the commissioners. The wish list of projects would update and repair the county courthouse in Auburn and is expected to extend the lifespan of the aging building and its facilities for decades.

The main section of the courthouse was built in 1857 with an addition added in 1915-20. Expansion projects for the jail occurred in 1970 and 1990.

Post told commissioners that the preliminary amount of the bond package is approximately $4.5  million. That amount could go up or down depending if more projects are added or if commissioners decide to cut back on the scope of the projects.

The biggest undertaking would be to upgrade the heating, ventilation, cooling and electrical systems at a cost of $2.5 million. Another $1.5 million would be earmarked to renovate the ground floor area throughout the complex. More than $100,000 would go to complete the probate office renovation. Replacing the windows with energy-efficient models would cost roughly $300,000.

Among other areas being considered for the bond and its long-time financing include further repairs to the roof.

Commissioners still need to decide whether to send the bond question to county voters in 2021 or during the next general election in 2022.

Before the workshop, commissioners held their regularly scheduled bi-monthly business meeting. The board approved a change to its by-laws that restrict any member from holding the office of chairman for more than one year at a time. Commissioners can override that policy by vote of five of its seven members.

The board elected Marc Roy of Lewiston to serve as chairman until the end of the year by a 6-1 secret-ballot vote. Roy was appointed as commissioner following the death of John Butler in 2019. Roy did not run in last month’s special election that was won by Roland Poirier, who will assume the seat in January.

Previous chairman John Michael of Auburn stepped down from the position earlier this month, but will remain a commissioner.


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