SCARBOROUGH — The Town Council approved additional bonding for the public safety building construction in Scarborough on Jan. 8.

The project, expected to be ready for occupancy in April, according to a presentation by Town Manager Tom Hall, had an expected shortfall of $420,000 in October 2018, and after adding an additional $100,000, the overture is approximately $525,000.

In 2017, voters had approved the $21.5 million project, with the cost in bonds not to exceed $19.5 million.

The Town Council had approved using the $19.5 million in bonding authority to cover these and any additional expenditures that will be determined in the spring.

“A project of this magnitude, the overage of $500,000 roughly, just under 2.5 percent, and a chunk of that we knew about a year and a half ago,” said Council Chair Paul Johnson. “So whatever implication there doesn’t rely on the project but more or so how we could have dealt with that a year and a half ago.”

“I’m voting yes on this also,” said Councilor Jean-Marie Caterina before the vote. “I like the fact that the manager did bring it forward just as some transparency for the process because people will talk: ‘Oh they went over on this and over on that,’ and it just takes on a life of its own. So the fact that we got it out — we work-shopped. I think it’s very important, but I will support this.”


Councilor Betsy Gleysteen, who voted no, said she did so because she didn’t believe that the town manager needed to seek the council’s authorization on the project.

“I think everyone’s done a great job here,” she said. “All the information is fine. I don’t feel that we need to authorize this. We will have a bond order coming back to us. I think he did the total right thing in the manner that he did, bringing this forward to us. My no vote is not against the money. I don’t feel that we need to do this.”

Councilor John Cloutier said that he agreed with Gleysteen and added, “But I’m still going to support this if it helps people move forward with confidence that we have the appropriate authority to spend.”

Some members of the council said that this experience could be useful when working on future projects.

“I think that it’s a long tail on this thing and it goes back to the actual writing of the ballot,” said Councilor Don Hamill. “I think we deliberated on it enough. I think we’ve sized the issue and we’re all clear on how to approach the additional funding if necessary.”

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