Cumberland County Civic Center bond buoyed by city voters

Artist rendering of proposed upgrades to Cumberland County Civic Center.
Courtesy of Canney Communications
Artist rendering of proposed upgrades to Cumberland County Civic Center.
Posted Nov. 09, 2011, at 12:38 a.m.
Last modified Nov. 09, 2011, at 8:21 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Voters in the county’s larger municipalities threw their weight behind a $33 million bond to renovate the Cumberland County Civic Center, supporting the project with nearly 58 percent of the votes.

In Portland, where the civic center is located, the bond was supported more than 2 to 1: 10,672 votes in favor and 5,238 against.

Across the county, with some small towns yet to report numbers early Wednesday, the bond held a sizable amount of support, with 40,615 in favor and 29,583 against.

South Portland voters backed the renovation proposal by nearly the same weight as Portland, with 4,322 voting “yes” and 2,642 voting “no.”

Likewise, in Brunswick, voters supported the bond by a count of 3,537 to 2,252.

The upgrade work to be covered by the bond includes an expansion of the concourse areas to provide easier access to concessions and bathrooms, as well as making the loading docks and staging areas more accommodating to ever more elaborate stage sets for touring groups.

Supporters of the project have said revenues generated directly and indirectly by the renovations will offset the annual bond payments, and the economic and cultural benefits of a revived civic center will be felt throughout the county. Meanwhile, opponents have argued against spending the money in a poor economy and claimed the overhauled civic center would disproportionately benefit Portland and its immediate neighbors.

Among the towns where voters rejected the bond were Bridgton, where 990 voted against it compared with just 525 in favor, and Cumberland, where 786 said “no” and 540 notched “yes” votes.

In Harrison — where, like Bridgton, the selectmen voted not to recommend the bond’s passage — 527 voted against it and 284 backed it.

To see full election results broken down by town, visit maineelections.bangordailynews.com.

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