Lincoln offering public works garage tours before vote

Posted Feb. 04, 2011, at 6:46 p.m.

LINCOLN, Maine — If you’re a registered town voter and don’t know whether to support the town’s proposed $1.15 million public works garage, David Lloyd would like a word with you.

The Public Works Department director will host tours for anyone who wants to see the Park Avenue facility, which would be replaced if voters approve doing so when a special referendum on the issue is held March 1.

“Anybody that is undecided on whether the town needs a new garage should view the current shape of the garage so they can make their own decisions based on their own observations,” Lloyd said Friday.

The garage’s current condition, Lloyd said, is poor.

Its roof leaks, it is difficult to heat and several of the garage doors and their supporting structures have rotted and need replacement. A recent ice dam left 2 inches of water on the floor of Lloyd’s office and forced firefighters to use a ladder truck to break away the ice, he said.

“It has seen its useful life,” Lloyd said of the garage.

Public Works Department workers, already used to doing work far beyond their job descriptions, regularly have to clear the roof of snow and ice, a somewhat hazardous assignment, Lloyd said.

“Sometimes the guys have been in there 14 or 15 hours and then they have to clear ice from the eaves before they can go home. It’s getting to be old,” Lloyd said.

Town officials almost unanimously support building a new garage, saying that the present facility is hazardous. A group of residents complaining that the initial $2.4 million proposed design was too costly forced town leaders to scale back the proposal several times.

Besides their concerns about the building’s cost, opponents to the project said that the building had features that were unnecessary. They said they also believed that an increase in town taxes that would be caused by the construction of the building would make the town’s economic climate insufferable.

Anyone interested in touring the garage can call Lloyd at 290-7174, he said.

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