WATERVILLE — City councilors will again consider buying the Morning Sentinel office for use as a police station because the owners of the building have reduced the price.

Councilors Feb. 7 voted 5-2 to build a new $2.75 million station at Head of Falls, passing over a request from representatives of MaineToday Media, owner of the Morning Sentinel, to allow them two weeks to come up with a plan to make structural changes to the building at 31 Front St. and then sell it to the city for a police station.

On Tuesday, the council will consider nullifying that 5-2 vote and buying the building, for a price yet to be revealed.

Neil Heyside, chief executive officer of Maine Today Media, said that the new price had not been established as of Thursday afternoon.

“The board of MaineToday Media has still to confirm what the written offer will be,” Heyside said.

City Manager Michael Roy said Thursday that Heyside told him last week that Heyside plans to submit a written proposal for sale of the building by noon Monday.

Tuesday’s council meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at The Center downtown and will be preceded by an executive session at 6:45 p.m. to discuss real estate negotiations regarding the building, Roy said.

Roy said councilors are required to take only one vote on whether to nullify the previous Head of Falls vote and buy the Front Street building. He said he could not predict how the council will vote on the matter.

Roy said that earlier in the process of seeking a new site for police, MaineToday Media had offered to sell the Sentinel building to the city for $1.5 million; later, that price was reduced to $1.25 million.

Some city officials opposed buying the Sentinel building when it was first offered, saying that it did not meet structural standards for public safety buildings.

Anthony Armstrong of Baldacci Real Estate Group, of Portland, represented MaineToday Media, requested Feb. 7 that officials be given time to develop a plan for making structural changes to the building that would meet those standards and then sell the retrofitted building to the city. Armstrong said the proposal could save the city $700,000 over the estimated price of a new building.

Roy said Thursday the Police Department will get a better home than its current one in the basement of City Hall.

“We’re thankful that there is support for being out of the basement here and we’re going to work on whatever option the council decides is best for the building,” Roy said. “We know that staying in the basement is not the long term solution that we need.”

Amy Calder — 861-9247

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