May 30, 2020
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Lincoln will hear plan for garage

LINCOLN, Maine — The town’s Public Works Department garage has far exceeded its useful life and might cost as much as $1.75 million to replace, a Bangor civil engineering firm said Tuesday.

Vinal Applebee, owner of Applebee Engineering P.A., will brief the Town Council on the conclusions and recommendations within his 40-page report on the garage during a special meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at the town office, Town Manager Lisa Goodwin said. Residents are invited.

Goodwin cautioned Tuesday that his report, while an appraisal of the building and a realistic assessment of town needs, carries a preliminary price tag.

“It’s realistic in what our needs are, but we might not have the funding,” Goodwin said. “It might be something we have to do in phases. We need to do something, and now is the time we will have to make that decision.

“This figure is very preliminary because it’s based on a scenario that might not even go. We might not want this size office or as many bays in the garage,” she added.

Goodwin called the report “a very first step in the whole program.”

Applebee’s firm spent about two months assessing the 40-year-old building to determine the costs associated with its repair, renovation or replacement. It was hired in late October.

Applebee said his report was preliminary because it assessed only the town’s needs, not its budget. Nor did the projections about a new building contain comment from town officials.

Councilors generally have agreed for many years that the building on Park Avenue needs renovation or replacement. The garage has or has had a leaky roof and its sides bleed heat because of a lack of insulation. It also lacks workspace, a lunch area for workers and storage space.

But voters narrowly rejected replacing the garage with a new structure for $675,000 in a November 2008 referendum. The vote was 1,175 to 1,117.

The garage is one of several town buildings councilors are considering replacing or building. They also are considering building the town’s first recreation and community center off Route 6 and relocating the town office. No plans have been voted on, nor have any timelines been set.

Goodwin called Applebee’s report “what residents wanted — a study that would say, ‘This is what you need and this is what you don’t.’ We heard that from the budget committee and the voters.

“I hope that as many residents as possible come out and listen to what the engineers have to say. It is their time to ask questions,” she added.

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