Architect and engineer hired to begin plan for town office upgrade
Lincolnville — The Lincolnville Board of Selectmen voted Monday, June 25, to contract with 2A Architects and engineering firm Gartley and Dorsky to investigate options for upgrading Lincolnville Town Office.
Lincolnville has created separate contracts with each firm because Gartley and Dorsky will assist with several other projects — including a trail and running track — currently being explored in Lincolnville, said Town Administrator David Kinney.
Kinney said Gartley and Dorsky has been charged with gathering data on the town's existing permits as well as investigating which permits the town will need to obtain for the project. Kinney said due to the number of buildings sharing the town property it is possible the town will have to apply for a Site Location Development Act Permit which is required for areas of "building" — including gravel roads, parking lots and buildings — totaling more than 3 acres and constructed after 1970.
Voters appropriated money to hire the engineer and architect in February. Kinney said town officials previously had hoped to hire those firms during the spring and are presently in the process of catching up to the proposed timeline of events for the town office renovation created by the Municipal Building Committee.
Kinney said that the existing town office is about 25 years old but space in the building, along with accessibility, have increasingly become issues for town staff. Kinney referenced a letter Lincolnville received from the Secretary of State in 2004. The Secretary of State had surveyed polling places statewide and found that one of the deficiencies in Lincolnville was the lack of access to the town office. Residents now vote at Lincolnville Central School on election day, but the town office is still the location for casting absentee ballots.
Access to the town office can be tricky for handicapped residents, Kinney explained.
"Beyond the law, the government is supposed to be accessible to the people," He added. He said a previous assessment of the town office estimates 30 percent of existing space would be used to make the building handicapped accessible.
In November 2006, voters rejected a proposal to renovate the town office. At that time the plans included adding a new fire station to the site of the town office where Lincolnville presently owns 77 acres. Kinney said a gift of land and money allowed the town to build a new fire station on Route 52 in 2008 instead.
"The selectmen are still interested in pursuing the needs of the town office," Kinney said.
He said a larger building inevitably will create higher costs but the interest rate charged to borrow money is presently quite low.
According to an estimate of costs submitted by the Municipal Building Committee in November 2011, the total estimated project cost is $769,311 including all permits, survey work and fees paid to engineers and architects. A portion of the money is already in the Capital Investment Reserve fund.
Kinney said that cost is subject to the plans created by the architects. Two plans will be submitted, one detailing the renovation of the building and another showing a brand new building. If they decide to pursue either design, selectmen will choose the one they prefer and ask the architects to refine it, he explained. The refined plan will include "fairly firm pricing," said Kinney.
Kinney said it's possible the process will be completed in time for the town office renovation to appear on the November 2012 election warrant.
The Camden Herald reporter Jenna Lookner can be reached at 236-8511 or firstname.lastname@example.org.