AUBURN — Androscoggin County commissioners heard from a bond expert Wednesday on what is required to submit to voters to finance a new Public Safety Building at the former Evergreen Subaru dealership on Center Street.

The county has three months to get the process started for putting it on the November ballot.

Cameron Ferrante from the law firm Preti Flaherty in Portland reviewed the process with commissioners.

The county needs to authorize the bond and make sure it complies with the state. After drafting the bond question to authorize construction, the county would need to hold public hearings for each of the county districts to get feedback.

The entire process needs to be completed by late August for the state to print the ballot, Ferrante said.

“We are gathering the information to move the process forward,” Sheriff Eric Samson said.

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Samson said he should know the cost to renovate and build the facility in the next week or two. He said he will soon meet with the architectural firm Harriman to finalize those plans.

The county purchased the property for $4.5 million in February 2022.

The building will be at 774 Center St. on 6.54 acres. The site is less than two miles north of the Sheriff’s Office in the Androscoggin County Building at the corner of Turner and Court streets.

The facility is expected to house the Sheriff’s Office, which includes the administrative offices, patrol, criminal investigation and civil divisions and the regional communications center. The Androscoggin County Jail will remain at 40 Pleasant St.

In other business, the board agreed to purchase two vehicles for the Sheriff’s Office from Quirk Auto Group in Augusta. The county budgeted for three vehicles, but the rising prices forced officials to buy two, Chief Deputy William Gagne said.

The county requested bids from a dozen dealerships and received three bids. Quirk submitted the lowest.

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The two 2024 Chevrolet Tahoes will cost $52,992 apiece. The price does not include equipment or its installation.

The board accepted a $5,718.75 Archival Collection and Preservation Grant through the Maine Historical Records Advisory Board and the Nation Historical Publications and State Records Commission for assessing and planning for county records.

Chris Dillman was introduced as the county’s new Emergency Management Agency director, replacing Angela Molino, who left to take over the EMA duties in Kennebec County.

New County Administrator Jeffrey Chute, who is scheduled to start in July, was appointed to serve as interim county administrator this month.

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