The York County District Attorney’s Office, which employs a staff of about 40 people, is currently located at the York County Court House in Alfred. A bill that would have provided funds for the county government to build a new office building for the district attorney’s staff adjacent to the planned new consolidated York County Judicial Center in Biddeford has died in the Legislature. TAMMY WELLS/Journal Tribune

ALFRED — A bill designed to provide a mechanism for York County to borrow money, and pay it back, in order to construct a building for the York County District Attorney’s Office adjacent to the planned York County Judicial  Center in Biddeford is going nowhere.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Sen. David Woodsome of Waterboro in a brief message Tuesday night said L.D. 357 has died. A notation on the Legislature’s  online bill tracking system said the bill died “between the houses, ” referring to the House and Senate, on June 18.

The offices of the York County District Attorney  are currently located at the York County Court House in Alfred, 12 miles from the site of the planned new courthouse.

York County District Attorney Kathryn Slattery said her general impression stemming from a work session of the judiciary committee was that those involved would continue to work on the issue “to come up with a solution that has us closer than 12 miles for the courthouse. … It was a problem created by the original bill that didn’t take this issue into account,” she said.

County government officials have said any efficiencies gained by the state’s decision to consolidate the county’s four courts – currently located in Alfred, Biddeford, Springvale and York – would be lost if prosecutors and their support staff, about 40 people in all,  weren’t located near the new court building.

At the present time however, absent an alternative, the District Attorney’s Office may remain where it is.

“The plan right now is to be in Alfred,” said York County Manager Greg Zinser. He acknowledged there have been very general discussions – with no outcome – on the possibilities of moving the district attorney’s office into the current Biddeford District Court location.

The dead bill would have provided up to $6 million in Maine Government Facilities Authority securities to construct a building on the new courthouse lot, connected to the new court building. The bill called for the three state-owned district courthouses in Biddeford, Springvale and York to be turned over to the county, which the county would then sell to help pay for the bond.

In November 2016, a court site selection commission made up of legislators, law enforcement, attorneys, the judiciary and others chose the site on U.S. Route 1 in Biddeford for the new courthouse after the Legislature passed a bill earmarking $65 million for the project.

There is no word on when ground will be broken for the courthouse project.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 780-9016 or [email protected]

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