OAKLAND — The Town Council wants to know why voters in November rejected a proposed $4.9-million facility for police, fire and Town Office personnel.

The 27,953-square-foot state-of-the-art structure proposed by the Building Committee would have replaced three separate aging buildings at the town-owned site on Fairfield Street.

Town Manager Peter Nielsen said that tonight the council will look at a survey he prepared that will ask residents why the project was defeated.

If the council approves the three-question survey, Nielsen said it will be sent to residents. The deadline for responses is Jan. 16.

“We hope to get some insight from the community,” Nielsen said.

Citizens will be asked to cite the most significant reason why the referendum was rejected, to specify any other significant factors involved and whether changes could be made to the proposed project so it would be acceptable and, if so, to list them.

On Nov. 8, voters defeated the project 1,165-841.

While residents at a public forum in November agreed that fire, police and Town Office personnel needed a new facility, some indicated this was not the time to undertake the project due to the poor economy.

The $4.9 million price tag would have represented $56 annually in property taxes on a $100,000 home, or slightly more than $1 a week.

In April 2009, the Town Council created the committee to assess how municipal facilities could best serve the community presently and for the next 50 to 75 years.

Monday night, the Building Committee held a brainstorming session, said chairman Dave Groder. The committee is slated to meet in February after the returned surveys have been analyzed. “We’ll present the results and they’ll determine where we go and how we proceed,” he said.

Nielsen said that Building Committee members, including Groder, Jan Porter, Ramona Freeman, Jon Cox, A.J. Cain, Joe Feeley, Gary Levesque, Eric Sharpe, Shawn Stevens and Dennis McLellan all agreed to continue serving.

“I’m glad for that,” Nielsen said, “We have a cross section of the community and that’s valuable. The discussions are balanced.”

The proposed building that went before voters had already been tweaked and scaled down because of cost concerns, Nielsen said.

“We tried to look ahead without overdoing,” he said earlier this fall. “We tried to make it something Oakland could be proud of and a little special without being extravagant.”

Before the Nov. 8 vote, Nielsen had said the plans would have a good shelf life and could be revisited when the economy improves.

Beth Staples — 861-9252

[email protected]