Fireboat crew quarters, Fitzpatrick bleachers on Portland capital improvements list

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PORTLAND — A bridge in Deering Oaks Park, quarters for the fireboat crew and new bleachers at Fitzpatrick Stadium are a few of the projects earmarked for funding in this year’s Capital Improvement Program.

The city each year spends up to $10 million on capital improvements. 

This year, more than a third of that money will go toward paying back the Trust For Public Land for part of a land swap agreement involving properties in Bayside and on Riverside Street.

The Finance Committee met Aug. 27 to review City Manager Joe Gray’s CIP recommendations. The committee agreed to forward to the City Council on Sept. 21 a recommendation to pay TPL $3.5 million in CIP funds.

However, the committee asked for more time to review the manager’s other recommendations, including $1.3 million to fund new fireboat crew living quarters in the Casco Bay Garage. 

The quarters were recommended for $400,000 in funding in the 2006 CIP and $250,000 in funding in the 2008 CIP. The 2008 allocation was approved. No one reached at City Hall on Tuesday could say if the 2006 allocation was approved.

Living quarters exist in the garage already, but Gray has said the space is too small. Fire Chief Fred LaMontagne said last year the quarters suffer from mold and vermin infestation.

Building new quarters is expensive because it requires more structural support under the pier. Current decking and support beams are reportedly in poor condition. Contaminated soil under the pier will also have to be removed in accordance with state Department of Environmental Protection standards.

“The committee requested more details,” city spokeswoman Nicole Clegg said, “especially about the fireboat quarters.”

Other items on the CIP list include $780,000 to begin replacing bleachers at Fitzpatrick Stadium. That funding is part of a two-phase, $1.5 million renovation project.

Gray recommended spending $420,000 for improvements at the Maine State Pier, and $200,000 for a bridge in Deering Oaks Park.

The planned skatepark on Douglass Street is earmarked for $75,000. Restoration of masonry at Portland High School is in the CIP for $750,000.

The Finance Committee is expected to continue review of Gray’s recommendations on Sept. 24. 

Kate Bucklin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or