WATERVILLE — It will be at least another week before the City Council votes on whether to build a new police station at Colby Circle instead of at Head of Falls.

Councilors voted 7-0 Tuesday to table the issue, then take it up again at a special council meeting at 7 p.m. next Tuesday to allow more time to gather information on the issue.

Councilor George Myers Jr., D-Ward 2, moved to table the matter, saying councilors appreciate the information residents have shared over the last few weeks about both the Head of Falls site and the Morning Sentinel building, which was also considered, but rejected.

“I totally respect the site selection committee, but logically, their vote and their opinion is not more or less than the opinion of the residents of Waterville who were not on the committee,” Myers said.

He was talking about the city’s all-volunteer Police Station Study Committee, which worked 1 1/2 years to study various sites for a police station and recommend a site.

The panel recommended Head of Falls over Colby Circle, as well as a building on Front Street that formerly housed a Social Security Administration office, the American Legion building and the fire station, both on College Avenue, and the former Boys’ & Girls Club building on Main Place.

Councilors voted 5-2 Feb. 7 to build at Head of Falls, but recent public outcry against that site prompted the council to reconsider Colby Circle.

Residents have asked whether police response from a station at Head of Falls would be slowed by passing trains, whether the site would be susceptible to flooding, whether the cost would be too high and whether having a station there would inhibit further economic development on the waterfront.

On Tuesday night, councilors were offered other sites to consider.

Paul Ferris, brother of Robert Ferris, who owns the former Social Security Administration building, said the 12,000-square-foot building is available for $550,000 and he does not believe it was considered professionally by the city’s architects.

Council Chairman Fred Stubbert, D-Ward 1, said the building is only 10,000 square feet and architects did look at it.

Gilman Pelletier, the new commander of American Legion Post 5, said the legion wants to sell its building because membership has dwindled and the organization needs a smaller place. He asked that councilors meet with Legion officials to discuss a way to negotiate a deal that would benefit both parties.

Mayor Karen Heck said she was told a while back that the cost of the Legion building would be $1 million. Pelletier said he was not going to discuss numbers Tuesday.

“I think it would be the best place for the police station,” Pelletier said.

Heck said having a discussion with the Legion would be up to the council.

“I don’t have a problem with it, because we’ve looked at it before,” said Councilor Karen Rancourt-Thomas, D-Ward 7.

Councilor Erik Thomas, D-Ward 4, said he was frustrated that people were approaching the council at the last minute with detailed offers. If they had done so six months ago, the sites would have been discussed, he said.

“I think the deeper we get into this process, the less appetite there is, for me at least, to revisit all these things,” he said.

Study Committee member Sam Shapiro said Colby Circle was actually his first choice, but members believed it would cost more than councilors were willing to approve, so they went with a least costly option.

He urged the city to move ahead quickly and build a police station.

“Whatever it’s going to cost, it’s going to cost,” he said.

Heck said the city appreciates all the hard work the committee put into the study, and she thanked residents for coming out to speak on the issue.

“I think it’s what democracy is all about, and I appreciate your participation in the process,” she said.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

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