Select Board moves forward with town garage plans 



SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Several years and town managers later, the Select Board has taken another step to replace the aging town garage on the Seal Cove Road. 

The Select Board decided to move forward with a new public works garage’s design plan, which they reviewed during a meeting held this week. The board also authorized $38,000 for continued design work. 

These proposed plans would completely replace the current public works garage, which now has a sagging roof, mildew and drainage problems. 

When voters approved $60,000 for the garage replacement project at the 2017 annual town meeting, $240,000 had already been set aside for the construction project. At that time, then Town Manager Don Lagrange said he thought the building could be constructed for no more than $250,000.  

After receiving the lowest bid from Coastal Maine General Contracting, which came in at $1,854,153, residents voted against it at the 2020 town meeting. After the town opposed spending that amount, members of a newly formed Infrastructure Committee met with the owner of Coastal Maine General Contracting, who offered to go over plans for the garage project but who wanted a guarantee that his company would retain the bid. The Select Board came to a standstill on the subject at a January 2021 meeting and continued to explore alternatives. 

This week’s meeting included a discussion about the proposed project’s redesigned infrastructure and recalculated costs, which includes a new 1,000-gallon septic tank, a 6,000-gallon precast concrete floor drain as well as an office area, a small kitchen/lunch room and a restroom. 

Annaleis Hafford, vice president of the Winterport engineering firm Olver Associates Inc., emailed updated costs, the garage redesign and bidding information. The cost for design and labor is $18,000, and HVAC and electrical work come in at $20,000.  

“Until we hear back from all of Olver Associates, we don’t know the bids yet, which may take a bit,” said Town Clerk Jennifer LaHaye. 

It is likely that these new plans and costs will be placed on the referendum ballot for the November election, LaHaye said. 

The next Select Board meeting will take place on Wednesday, May 25, at 6 p.m. 

Ninah Rein

Ninah Rein

Writer at Mount Desert Islander
Ninah Rein, an MDI native, covers news and features in the Bar Harbor area. She is glad to be back in Maine after earning a bachelor's degree in San Diego from the University of California.

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