The Town Hall in Arundel is pictured in this file photo from April. The Town Hall has stood since the 1870s according to town officials.

The Town Hall in Arundel is pictured in this file photo from April. The Town Hall has stood since the 1870s according to town officials.

ARUNDEL — The Town Hall at 468 Limerick Road has stood for longer than the town itself, built as a church hall in the late 1800s before the small rural population of only 545 residents broke with Kennebunkport. Now, selectmen say, as the town has grown sevenfold and is on track for further expansion, it’s time to find a new space for the town government.

Meeting Monday, the Board of Selectmen discussed three properties they think could house a new town hall – one on Campground Road, one on Limerick Road and one across from the Arundel Market on U.S. Route 1 – debating their relative centrality to town as well as their ability to meet the needs of a growing population.

Town Manager Keith Trefethen, who has been on the job since June, says a lot of the work on this project was done before he took over, but he says that when meeting town residents and elected officials they always say that the new town hall has been “a long time coming.”

“It resonates with the public that … the time has come for something else and the public sentiment is positive for the town to move forward,” Trefethen said.

The new building with have a larger footprint and an expanded parking lot for large town events, like voting day, meaning the parcel of land will be around four acres or larger. Voting day has traditionally been a challenge for the town. Since the Town Hall is too small, booths are set up in the bays of the fire department and the trucks are moved outdoors into what is often a snowy November day.

Beyond the space concerns, the current building isn’t ADA compliant and would require thousands of dollars of repairs to resolve.

Jason Nadeau, chairmen of the Arundel Board of Selectmen, said it’s clear the old building needs to go.

“It no longer really is serving both the residents and the town employees are on top of each other,” Nadeau said. The Arundel Board of Selectmen currently meets in the library of Mildred L. Day School, while the Planning Board meets in the fire station.

The shift is also a sign of Arundel’s rapid development in recent years. The most obvious indication of this is the 259-unit “Cape Arundel” seasonal cottage development, the first phase of which was completed in September. Nadeau emphasized this and the U.S. Route 1 business corridor as signs of Arundel’s new look.

“We want to be the community (for) both businesses and residents,” Nadeau said.

Trefethen said he hopes the town will purchase a property for the new town hall by the next town meeting, in June of next year.

There are a number of suggestions about what could be done with the current town hall space. The building will probably be razed, given the ADA and repair issues, which opens up opportunities for the land or putting a new building there. Trefethen suggests that the land could accommodate additional parking for the fire station, while Nadeau envisioned a small office for the deputy contracted from the York County Sheriff ’s Office.


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