The U.S. Customs and Border Protection station is seen in March on Route 27 in Coburn Gore on the Canadian border. The federal government is looking to expand its study area for a multimillion-dollar modernization of the land port or entry. Gregory Rec/Press Herald file photo

FARMINGTON — The U.S. General Services Administration is considering more property for its a multimillion-dollar modernization of the Coburn Gore border crossing station in northern Franklin County, a county commissioner said this week.

Commissioner Bob Carlton of Freeman Township told commissioners Tuesday that about 40 people attended the GSA’s June 24 hearing to gather more input on the project, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act process.

The Canadian entry point is about 20 miles northwest of Eustis. The main building and two single-family residences were built in 1932 and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The government is looking at more property, Carlton said. The county has property in the area of Coburn Gore Township, which he said was an old landfill.

The Coburn Gore border crossing station is seen in this file photo. Built in 1932 in Coburn Gore Township on the Canadian border, it is in an isolated setting about 20 miles northwest of Eustis in northern Franklin County. The U.S. General Services Administration plans to spend $85 million to $95 million to modernize it. General Services Administration photo

“The U.S. General Services Administration expanded the study area …,” Paul Hughes, regional public affairs officer for New England, wrote Wednesday in an email. He said no decision has been made as to site selection.

The project has been reported to cost up to $95 million and is expected to improve the operational efficiency, safety and security of U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel and cross-border travelers.


The GSA awarded a $760,350 contract in March for architectural and engineering services to Dattner Architects of New York. The company will provide predesign services, a budget and information on the availability of land, according to the administration.

According to information available at a June 27 meeting, and provided to the Sun Journal by Hughes, the deficiencies at the border entry fall into two broad categories: limited capacity and facilities for port operations; and the existing buildings’ condition.

A draft environmental assessment is being prepared, providing steps and procedures to evaluate the potential natural and human environmental impacts for the proposed modernization and expansion of the land port. The GSA is providing an opportunity for the public, stakeholders, and government agencies to give input. The social, economic and environmental considerations are evaluated and measured.

The assessment will consider alternatives that may include:

• Constructing new land port of entry facilities — main port building, commercial processing, a separate nonintrusive inspection, secondary inspection, garage, traffic lanes, parking and supporting facilities.

• Acquiring additional land.


• Keeping or removing the historical main port building.

• Constructing new Custom and Border Protection housing.

• Creating a cul-de-sac at the end of state Route 27.

• Grading for new facilities.

• Building a retaining wall for facilities.

• Constructing on-site stormwater measures.

Another alternative is having current facilities continue operating under existing conditions.

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