Public works garage proposal postponed, sand/salt shed referendum approved
Rockland — Instead of a combined bid for a new public works garage and salt and sand shed, Rockland voters may only have to consider one piece of the puzzle at the November polls.
The City Council approved, with a vote of 3-2, the bond ordinance authorizing an amount not to exceed $586,000 for a new sand and salt shed at its Aug. 26 meeting. The shed is proposed to be built on available land on Pleasant Street. Mayor Will Clayton and Councilor Eric Hebert voted against the proposal.
Councilor Larry Pritchett said the sand and salt shed is a necessity due to the annual loss suffered by the condition of storage at the current facility.
The council has asked the engineering firm Gartley & Dorsky of Camden for a more decisive cost analysis before presenting the proposed public works garage to voters. This ordinance amendment was postponed until Jan. 13, 2014.
"I don't want to do this a fourth time," said Hebert of postponing the referendum presentation to voters.
Voters shot down a $2.9 million plan to build a public works garage next to city hall in 2011. A similar referendum was also voted down in 2007.
Clayton said in an email he voted against the bond ordinance because he wanted both bonds for the public works building and the sand and salt shed to be on the November ballot.
John Hansen of South Thomaston is the architect for the project.
The plan proposed at the Aug. 26 meeting by President Will Gartley of Gartley & Dorsky had been downsized from the original 18,000-square-foot plan to 14,000-square-feet. The building would house all public works equipment and include both a maintenance bay and a wash bay.
The projected costs proposed by Gartley & Dorsky included three scenarios.
The first was construction of a new public works garage with no sand and salt shed. The total project cost recommended for bond was $1,893,483.
The second was construction of a stand-alone sand and salt shed with a recommended bond cost of $586,000 — which was approved.
The third was a combined bid construction of both the public works garage and sand and salt shed on the Pleasant Street property for a recommended bond of $2,423,123 — an approximate $50,000 savings versus putting them out to bid separately.
"The 'savings' if any would come from possible lower costs if both adjacent buildings were put out to bid and constructed at the same time," clarified Pritchett in an email Aug. 27, adding the shared access road, electrical service and some earth work were listed separately in both bond questions.
Hebert said he was "reluctant to give up the savings" of the combined project bidding.
"Even though we know it needs to be replaced, it is going to take a lot more education of the public and we need to get our questions answered," said Hebert.
City Manager James Smith said the project will also include building offices for both public works and the transfer station manager, David St. Laurent, so the city will not be paying two heating and two electricity bills for the two departments. However, he said while they would be housed together, the two departments are not being merged.
The existing garage is a 7,200-square-foot Butler Building (all metal) from the 1950s and does not have space to house all the department's equipment and staff, he said.
A second and final vote on the proposed sand and salt shed will be taken at a public hearing set for Monday, Sept. 9.
Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at email@example.com.
594-4401 ext. 125
Beth rejoined Courier Publications' news staff in February 2013. She previously worked at The Courier-Gazette from 1981 to 1990.
Her coverage area includes Warren, Union, Friendship, Waldoboro, Washington, and Thomaston and RSU40.
Beth has a passion for photography, and a degree from the University of Maine at Augusta, in affiliation with the Maine Photographic Workshop in Rockport.
Aside from photography, Beth enjoys running and walks along the waterfront, as well as other outdoor activities. She has a daughter, Claire, who is 13.
Recent Stories by Beth Birmingham
Dec 08, 2013
Dec 06, 2013
Dec 06, 2013
Dec 06, 2013
Dec 05, 2013