The new public safety building, set for completion in the spring of 2020, is still over budget, although officials still aren’t sure where additional funding will come from. Krysteana Scribner / The Forecaster

SCARBOROUGH — The $21.5 million new public safety building, tracking toward occupancy next spring, remains over budget and town officials say they still aren’t sure how the funding gap will be bridged.

In July, Town Manager Tom Hall said the project remained $420,000 over budget. He said he couldn’t confirm how much more would be needed to fund the project and town officials still need to have a discussion about how to move forward.

The 53,000-square-foot building under construction on town-owned property along the south side of the Municipal Building, along Route 1 and Sawyer Road, will house police, fire, emergency medical services and emergency dispatch. Krysteana Scribner / The Forecaster

“The sale of the old facility could be the answer to that challenge alone,” he said Oct. 9. “Some activity is happening but there is nothing definite here. At some point this fall I’ll have to approach council to give them an update and identify any additional funding … we’ve been fully open and transparent in this process.”

In November 2017, voters approved borrowing not more than $19.5 million.

The difference between the two amounts will be made up by using approximately $625,000 set aside in reserve funds, and proceeds from the sale of the existing public safety building and two parcels of land near the Oak Hill intersection.

However, bids showed the projected cost would be about $2.8 million over budget due to tariffs, labor shortages and other factors.

Hall said the Public Safety Complex Building Committee managed to eliminate $2.4 million worth of work without compromising the integrity of the building. But the project is still coming in about $420,000 over budget.

The Town Council last October agreed that rather than scaling back plans, alternative revenue sources should be explored to make up the difference between the estimated and actual costs.

Hall was expected to go back to the council earlier this year to identify additional funding sources, but said the council has not formally discussed the matter since an October 2018 workshop. The public safety building committee tasked with overseeing this project, however, had its last meeting Aug. 21, although no further details have emerged from that meeting.

Police Chief Robbie Moulton said Oct. 7 that said he’s still hopeful additional funding comes from the sale of the current public safety building, which is being brokered by Roxanne Cole Commercial Development for $2.4 million. As of April 2018, the town valued the building, the 2.27 acres it sits on and an adjacent 0.31-acre parcel at just over $2.1 million.

“The project is very fluid and we work on it every day,” Fire Chief Michael Thurlow said. “We still haven’t got a signed purchase agreement yet on the old property, and there are so many different variables to this that it’s complicated to know the cost.”

The 53,000-square-foot building under construction on town-owned property along the south side of the Municipal Building, along Route 1 and Sawyer Road will house police, fire, emergency medical services and emergency dispatch. The new headquarters will replace a 17,100-square-foot building down the street at 246 U.S. Route 1.

The site contractor, RJ Grondin, completed the subsurface drainage system at the end of May. Thurlow said Landry/French Construction of Scarborough has hired subcontractors to finish the technical work.

Hall said the project is 65% complete and the interior walls are scheduled to be painted by the end of the month. The timeline for project completion has been “quite impressive” to date, he said.

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