MILBRIDGE, Maine — The vote was close, but the estimated 200 people attending a special town meeting Monday night in Milbridge approved plans to construct a new $578,000 building that would house the town office, the police and ambulance departments and the community’s library.
By a margin of 14 votes — 110 yes, 96 no — the green light was given to plans to replace the circa-1900 building that now houses the town office, the police department and the ambulance service as well as the town’s library, which is shoehorned into an addition built 50 years ago.
The $578,000 project is dependent on approval of a $258,000 community development block grant. Town Manager Lewis Pinkham will submit that grant request by March 1. If approved, the town will put up an additional $320,000, with $160,000 coming from a 15-year loan, $65,000 from the library’s endowment, $60,000 from surplus funds and $35,000 from a building reserve fund.
Pinkham said Tuesday that, if the CDBG grant is authorized, construction could begin as soon as August, with occupancy by next winter.
The new building would require demolition of the existing library and town office facility, which once served as the town’s high school. Also to be razed is an adjacent town hall building.
The proposed new, one-story, 4,800-square-foot building would set aside 1,400 square feet of space for the library.
Opponents of the project wanted to preserve the existing town office building and the adjacent town hall building, claiming they are historic.