Grand opening of Old Town City Hall planned for October

Posted Aug. 10, 2010, at 10:23 p.m.

OLD TOWN, Maine — The relocation, renovation and revitalization of Old Town’s new City Hall building is almost done, and the end of the long-running project will be commemorated with a grand opening tentatively set for mid-October.

“There’s a lot going on,” said Old Town City Manager Margaret Daigle. “This year has been very busy. It’s crazy.

“The City Hall project has been a 20-year project with all the studies and analysis and plans we’ve commissioned and debated and approved, so it’s really great to see this thing almost done.”

The town bought the building at 265 Main St. previously owned and used by Bangor Savings bank for $1.6 million and sold Bangor Savings land for its new location on Stillwater Avenue for $350,000.

“Their previous building was too big for their needs and we were leasing space upstairs from them, so with the sale of the land and everything, it was a good fit for everyone involved,” Daigle said.

The renovation of the new City Hall is a $383,000 project, according to Daigle. One thing that will not be removed is the 10-year-old brick building’s drive-through window, which Daigle sees as a particularly useful feature for Old Town residents.

“We’re figuring out how to best utilize it. I think that’ll take some planning, but it should be very convenient for people to stop by and pay their taxes or registration fees,” Daigle said.

The City Hall renovation involved moving finance, clerk and general assistance offices from upstairs to downstairs. The manager, assessor and chief executive officer offices were moved to the municipal airport terminal while the upstairs renovations are completed.

Daigle said activity isn’t restricted to City Hall. The property on Middle Street formerly used by Old Town Canoe has become a focal point as well.

“That Middle Street property is almost totally vacated now since Old Town Canoe has moved to its Gilman Falls site,” Daigle said. “Now we’re wondering what we’re doing with that site. It’s still privately owned, but we’re partnering up with them to see what we can do with it, primarily to make sure it doesn’t just sit there and deteriorate.”

The next City Council meeting won’t be until Aug. 26, at the Old Town public library at 46 Middle St. In the meantime, there’s plenty to keep Daigle occupied.

“We’re also at the tail end of a city services review with what we’re doing, what we’re not doing and what we may be doing too much or not enough of, etc., and we’ll be dealing with that in mid-September with October workshops on it,” she said.

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