WATERVILLE — Trees and brush have been cleared and the soil tested at Colby Circle in anticipation of the city buying the land for a new police station.

City Manager Michael Roy plans to give city councilors an update on that work at 7 p.m. today in the council chambers at The Center.

Roy said Monday that the soil tests will show if the site is suitable for building a foundation and if anything is buried there that would interfere with construction.

The city’s Public Works Department cleared the site and S.W. Cole Engineering Inc. of Bangor did the testing.

“We do not see any problems or real concerns with what we’ve seen,” Roy said. “We’re waiting for the final report, but I don’t expect any problems resulting from this site examination.”

Councilors on Aug. 7 voted 6-0 to buy about 1.3 acres at Colby Circle from Hight Partners to build a police station. The vote nullified a 5-2 vote they took in February to build a station at Head of Falls off Front Street.

The Aug. 7 vote included the conditions that the price for the lot be $125,000, the site be clear of environmental issues and that the landowners share the cost of road construction, ownership and responsibility for maintenance, repairs and improvements.

Hight not only owns the land, but also two buildings at Colby Circle that house Waterville District Court and the Social Security Administration office.

The police station lot would be the southern-most lot on the circle and police would share the current Colby Circle entrance and exit with the court and Social Security building.

Roy said Monday that once site conditions are satisfied, then the city could negotiate the final purchase agreement with Hight Partners.

“The final building design will be completed and the construction manager, Wright-Ryan Construction Inc., will proceed and get prices for foundation and concrete work for the building from all the different construction trades,” Roy said.

An estimated project budget would be established, bids solicited for work and then a final project budget developed, possibly in about a month, he said.

Roy said he hopes construction can start this year.

“I think one very key question is the ability to build the foundation and do the masonry work before real cold weather,” he said. “If that can’t be established — that we can do that before real cold weather — we would consider delaying it. I hope that’s not the case.”

Roy said he thinks police will be in a new station in 2013.

“My hope is they’d be there by June next year, but of course, that depends on when we start,” he said. “That (June) would probably be the best-case scenario.”

The building design is the one developed for Head of Falls — a one-story, 12,000-square-foot building with a sally port and parking lot.

In other matters tonight, councilors will consider approving a change to the city’s zoning ordinance that would allow Herbert Goudreau to provide meal service to residents and their guests and build a beauty parlor for residents at his planned multi-family apartment building on College Avenue. Goudreau plans to build the complex behind Goudreau’s Retirement Inn, 110 College Ave.

Councilors also will consider awarding a contract for a downtown sidewalk rehabilitation project, as well as contracts for two new police cruisers, a 1.5-ton asphalt compaction roller, a 5,000 pound forklift and two dump trucks.

The council will consider a final vote to front up to $100,000 for a maintenance building at Quarry Road Recreation Area and accept money to support Sustain Mid-Maine Coalition.

 

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