ROCKLAND, Maine — Knox County appears to have approved a $2.5 million bond issue for a public safety project to combine the sheriff’s office, the emergency management agency and the 911 dispatch center in one large building.
The vote was 5,204 to 3,838 at press time with 13 of the county’s 18 towns reporting their unofficial election results. Rockland, the county seat with about 4,700 registered voters, had not yet filed its results.
If the project is approved by the majority of voters, the county will buy a 10,300-square-foot building on Park Street that is currently owned by the Village Soup news service, which owns the newspaper The Herald Gazette. The county jail is next door to the building.
Currently, the 911 dispatch center and sheriff’s office share space with the jail. There is so little space that some of the jail staff has to work out of the attic.
The project is estimated to cost about $500,000 for the building and $840,000 for renovations. Another $900,000 would be spent on emergency communication equipment upgrades. The rest of the $2.5 million bond money — $260,000 — would go toward furnishings, moving, a generator backup and other moving-related work.