WATERVILLE — City councilors on Tuesday voted 5-1 to spend $127,431 for furniture, fixtures and equipment for a new $3.3 million police station being built on Colby Street.

The budget for the police station is expected to come in about $81,000 under budget, city officials said. The budgeted cost was $3.4 million, while the final cost is expected to be $3.3 million.

Councilor John O’Donnell, D-Ward 5, who typically urges the council to curb spending, was the lone dissenter in the vote to spend the $127,431.

“I’m not voting for it, but I’m paying for it,” he said.

Councilor Karen Rancourt-Thomas, D-Ward 7, was absent from the meeting.

Police are scheduled this summer to move out of the current police station in the basement of City Hall, to the new 12,133-square-foot station.

The furniture and other equipment will be purchased from Union Office Interiors, which has an office in Augusta. Police Chief Joseph Massey recommended the city buy from Union.

City Manager Michael Roy distributed a sheet to councilors showing the overall police station budget.

He said fiber-optics and connection costs were higher than anticipated as it was difficult to get estimates for that work.

“But there are savings in other areas,” he said.

Council Chairman Erik Thomas, D-Ward 4, asked if construction is on schedule; Roy said it was a little ahead of schedule.

Councilor Fred Stubbert, D-Ward 1, said the station will be completed in June, and police will be able to move in by July 4.

In other matters Tuesday, Mayor Karen Heck read a proclamation naming Paul Mitchell as recipient of the Spirit of America Award for outstanding service to the community.

Mitchell, who has served on the Planning Board for 20 years, played a key role in the Waterville Urban Renewal Authority and helped the city remain strong as longtime owner of GHM Insurance Co., Heck said.

He is a valuable member of the Waterville Rotary Club, a dedicated trustee of Waterville Sewerage District for 25 years and has given generous and selfless service to the city, of which he is a valuable asset, Heck said.

Mitchell, older brother of former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, received a standing ovation Tuesday.

City Manager Roy said that at the time he started working in municipal government years ago, he worked for the town of Fairfield on an urban renewal-type project in the late 1970s. He was very new and hired Mitchell to help him out, he said. He said he learned a lot from Mitchell.

“This guy was a pro, and I was so very lucky to learn from him,” Roy said.

Mitchell returned Roy’s praise, saying Roy was a fast learner and has done a “magnificent job” in his profession. “Keep up the good work, Mike,” Mitchell said.

Amy Calder — 861-9247
[email protected]

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