Scarborough public safety building bond added to ballot

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SCARBOROUGH —  Councilors gave their unanimous approval on Wednesday to add a bond to the November election to fund the costs of a new public safety building. The bond is not to exceed $19.5 million.

The proposed 53,000-square-foot building would house police, fire and emergency dispatch along the south side of the Scarborough Municipal Building on U.S. Route 1. The town’s current 17,100-square-feet building is down the street at 246 U.S. Route 1.

The estimated cost of the new building is just over $21.5 million.

The estimate includes construction costs of about $17 million and covers the building, site work, a new access road and a communications tower. Soft costs, such as furnishings, equipment and security systems, would be about $2.8 million. A $1.7 million contingency is also built into the proposal. 

“We believe the estimates are accurate as possible,” Town Manager Tom Hall said.

The town plans to use $625,000 in reserve funds and is anticipating about $1.4 million from the sale of the existing public safety building to offset the cost of the new building.

Kevin Freeman, chairman of the ad hoc Public Safety Complex Building Committee, said, “We feel we put together a solid plan and we want to put it in front of the voters.”

Freeman also said the committee has put together a public outreach program that begins Friday, Sept. 8.

 “I want to strenuously support this item. It is an absolute need, not a want,” said Council Chairman Shawn Babine. 

In other news, the council held a public hearing on a six-month moratorium on retail marijuana establishments and retail marijuana social clubs. No one took the opportunity to speak. The purpose of the moratorium is to wait for some direction from the state.

Councilor William Donovan said the decisions made by the state will give the town a”framework” to set its policy. The council set the second reading of the moratorium for Sept. 20. 

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