Milbridge voters to weigh in on town office, library plans

Posted Jan. 24, 2012, at 1:44 p.m.
Town officials in the Washington County community of Milbridge met Thursday, Jan. 19, to discuss moving forward with plans to demolish an existing century-old building and then constructing a new $600,000 facility to house the town office and library.
Tom Walsh | BDN
Town officials in the Washington County community of Milbridge met Thursday, Jan. 19, to discuss moving forward with plans to demolish an existing century-old building and then constructing a new $600,000 facility to house the town office and library. Buy Photo
Town officials in the Washington County community of Milbridge met last week to decide on moving forward with plans to demolish the existing century-old building that now houses the town office and public library. The proposal would include constructing a new, $600,000 building where the adjacent Town Hall is now located.
Tom Walsh | BDN
Town officials in the Washington County community of Milbridge met last week to decide on moving forward with plans to demolish the existing century-old building that now houses the town office and public library. The proposal would include constructing a new, $600,000 building where the adjacent Town Hall is now located. Buy Photo

MILBRIDGE, Maine — The Milbridge selectmen have submitted a letter of intent in an effort to win a $258,000 Community Development Block Grant to help fund what’s now proposed as a $587,000 building that would house the town office and the community’s library.

Town Manager Lewis Pinkham said Tuesday the town’s library board will provide up to $65,000 for the required 25 percent matching fund payment. Also under consideration, he said, is the town borrowing $220,000 for the project, refinancing existing loans and tapping into a building reserve fund for as much as $35,000.

Milbridge now houses its town offices, police department and ambulance service in a circa-1900 building that was once the town’s high school. The building is shared with the library, which is shoehorned into an addition built more than 50 years ago.

A proposed new, one-story, 4,800-square-foot building would set aside 1,400 square feet of space for the library.

A special annual meeting is now scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13. A location has yet to be determined, Pinkham said. “It’s a meeting to determine how the voters feel about the project,” he said.

Opponents of the project want to preserve the existing town office building, which once was used as a school, as well as the adjacent town hall building.

In an informal survey conducted last fall, 50 respondents said they favored demolishing both existing buildings and replacing them with a new building and more parking. That compared with 49 others who weighed in against that approach. Seventy-four percent of those surveyed want to see the town office and library stay combined, while 81 percent favor having the town continue to provide facilities for ambulance service.

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