Hallowell to seek voter

Hallowell to seek voter opinion on plans to renovate old fire station, construct new public works building

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The Second Road facade of the previous fireplace home in downtown Hallowell is seen Thursday. The basement homes the Hallowell Meals Pantry and the primary flooring bays the place the hearth engine was are used for storage.

Councilors are looking for voter enter on whether or not to spend as much as $5 million renovating the constructing to offer group assembly rooms and workplace house for town’s police division along with the meals pantry. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

HALLOWELL — With the intention to higher gauge public opinion on two multi-million greenback municipal tasks, officers are placing two nonbinding questions on the November poll — one pertaining to renovating the previous fireplace station and one other about constructing a brand new multi-bay public works facility.

The almost 200-year-old former fireplace division on Second Road was inbuilt 1828 and served as Hallowell’s city corridor till 1899 when metropolis corridor was constructed, and the hearth division moved into the constructing about one yr later.

As soon as the hearth division relocated to Stevens Commons in 2018, metropolis officers began discussing transferring the police division to the constructing whereas maintaining the Hallowell Meals Pantry in its basement.

And late final year, metropolis council heard a presentation from Artifex Architects & Engineers of Bangor with a conceptual design and estimated price ticket of roughly $3.2 million.

The presentation was met with combined reactions, as some councilors felt it was overkill to provide the police 4,000 sq. ft on the renovated fireplace station, which is 5 instances bigger than their present 800-square-foot house at metropolis corridor.

Among the growth, nonetheless, is important to be able to adjust to the People with Disabilities Act. For instance, whereas the bathroom rooms within the present station are 3 ft by 5 ft, they might must be 6-by-8, or almost double the scale, to fulfill the federal guidelines.

The council voted in January to maintain the constructing below metropolis possession versus promoting the historic former fireplace station and as a substitute looking for out a brand new purpose-built facility for the police division.

Altogether, the architect’s proposal was roughly $3.2 million. The development alone is estimated at $2.3 million, and contains masonry, metal, roofing, siding, drywall, changing home windows and insulating the sally port.

The remaining piece of the estimate contains overhead and revenue, design contingency, the bond and insurance coverage.

The council mentioned alternate options to the offered plan in March, and in Might mentioned inserting a nonbinding referendum query on the November poll asking voters if they might assist spending as much as $4 million to renovate the previous fireplace station.

Metropolis Supervisor Gary Lamb offered the council with a draft model of the query on Monday, along with a draft query asking voters if they might approve constructing a brand new Public Works facility, and doubtlessly buying land to take action, for as much as $2 million.

Councilors are anticipated to finalize the language at their subsequent assembly, scheduled for Sept. 12.
The hose tower and picket part on the again of the previous fireplace home in downtown Hallowell are seen Thursday.

The basement homes the Hallowell Meals Pantry and the primary flooring bays the place the hearth engine was are used for storage.

Councilors are looking for voter enter on whether or not to spend as much as $5 million renovating the constructing to offer group assembly rooms and workplace house for town’s police division along with the meals pantry.

The draft query requested if voters would approve renovating the hearth station so the police division may go within the center flooring, the meals pantry may proceed within the basement however with extra space, and the group may use many of the high flooring as assembly and museum house.

Councilor Michael Frett mentioned he supported each nonbinding questions.

“It will be an amazing help if we had an concept of to what extent, if in any respect, town is ready to obtain both of those,” he mentioned.

Lamb prompt including a sentence to the explanatory be aware telling voters that the architect’s $3.2 million estimate is sort of two years previous.

He additionally prompt eradicating the phrases “to not exceed” within the $4 million value estimate, or doubtlessly altering it to “$4 to $5 million.”

The work wouldn’t be beginning anytime quickly, nonetheless, as town would nonetheless have to put aside cash to get building plans within the subsequent finances cycle, which begins on July 1 of 2023.

“If that’s within the subsequent finances, then we may go full steam forward to get the plans and the total prices,” he mentioned, “to not do the development.”

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