LINCOLN, Maine — Town leaders who hoped for low bids on the construction of a new Public Works Department garage will be disappointed that the lowest was $1.04 million, Town Manager Lisa Goodwin said Monday.
“They came in higher than what we anticipated. I am not happy, but I’m not greatly surprised, either, given the cost of materials. Everything keeps rising,” Goodwin said.
Residents voted 178-172 in a special referendum on March 1 to allocate $1.15 million to fund the construction of a new garage on Park Avenue. It was the second referendum on the subject.
Town leaders have acknowledged for years that a new garage is necessary, because the current facility on Park Avenue has many structural flaws, some of which compromise worker safety.
The final redesign features an 8,025-square-foot building of three bays that could hold six vehicles and six rooms, including an office, lunchroom, two bathrooms, and storage and building utilities areas.
Building committee members cut the initial $2.4 million proposal significantly since October when a group of taxpayers, including some of the town’s business owners, complained loudly that local taxes already were too high for the services offered and that a garage simply shouldn’t cost that much.
The final design lacks a cold-storage bay and lubrication pit featured in previous designs, but town officials hoped that the bids would come in low enough to allow for their construction. It doesn’t look like they have, Goodwin said, “unless we can find some savings somewhere else.”
With nine companies submitting bids, Benchmark Construction was the low bidder with its $1.04 million bid. Blane Casey Building Contractor was next with a bid of $1.09 million. Nichols Construction was the highest bidder with a $1.66 million proposal, officials said.
Goodwin and Public Works Director David Lloyd will review the bids and recommend finalists to the Town Council at its April 11 meeting, Goodwin said.
If all goes well, construction could begin this spring.