Scarborough OKs borrowing $19.5M for public safety building

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SCARBOROUGH — Voters approved a $19.5 million bond for a new public safety building on Tuesday by a vote of 3,466 to 3,000.

They also elected two new School Board members, one new town councilor, and re-elected two other town councilors.

The proposed 53,000-square-foot public safety building will house police, fire, emergency medical services and emergency dispatch on town-owned property along the south side of the Scarborough Municipal Building, on U.S. Route 1.

Kevin Freeman, chairman of the Public Safety Building ad-hoc committee, on Wednesday said, “We are just ecstatic that it passed … it’s very gratifying …we put a solid plan out to the voters and we’re really happy the voters supported the project.”

The estimated total cost of the new building is about $21.5 million. It includes about $17 million for the building, site work, a new access road and a communications tower. Furnishings, equipment and security systems would be about $2.8 million, and a $1.7 million contingency is also built into the proposal.

The town also plans to use $625,000 in reserve funds that have been set aside to replace the building, and is planning to sell the building that now serves as the public safety headquarters to reduce the amount that would be borrowed.

Town Manager Thomas Hall said he will be seeking Town Council approval Nov. 15 to put the current public safety building up for sale.
Officials have said estimates of the value of the building have come in at more than $1.4 million, and Hall said the town is already making arrangements to secure borrowing.

“We are anxious to hit the market while the market is attractive with low-interest rates,” Hall said. “The sooner we secure financing the better.”

The council will have to approve the borrowing over two readings, he said.

In the Town Council race, former Councilor Jean-Marie Caterina and incumbent Councilors Peter Hayes and Shawn Babine received enough votes to keep their seats. Incumbent Councilor Katherine St. Clair was ousted.

Caterina received 3,185 votes; Hayes, 3,340; Babine, 2,929; St. Clair, 2,497; Timothy Downs, 2,142, and Benjamin Howard, 1,838.

On Wednesday afternoon, Caterina thanked voters and said her priorities are “stabilizing the property taxes and maintaining excellent schools. … It’s going to take some balancing to get that point.”

She also said she would like to “keep the interest of seniors in mind who struggle to pay their property taxes.”

In the School Board election, Hillory Durgin and Leanne Kazilionis defeated Christie McNally and Rebel Douglas. Durgin received 2,928 votes; Kazilionis, 2,722; McNally, 2,365, and Douglas, 1,634.

The two seats were open because Kelly Murphy chose not to run again, while Christine Massengill resigned in June.

Three Sanitary District Board of Trustees seats were won by incumbents Jason Greenleaf and Charles Andreson, with 3,702 votes and 3,179 votes, respectively, and newcomer Judith Cavalero, with 3,006. Incumbent Robert McSorley, with 2,842 votes, was not re-elected.

The election results will be certified at the next council meeting and the new councilors will be sworn in at the Dec. 6 meeting.

 Melanie Sochan can be reached at 781-3661 ext.106 or Follow her on Twitter @melaniesochan.

Caitlyn Barry casts her ballot at Scarborough High School on Tuesday evening, Nov. 7. Rhonda King, of Volunteers in Police Services, was volunteering at the polls.