OAKLAND — The Town Council could consider awarding a bid to manage the construction of the town’s new police station as soon as next week.

The $1.05 million project will replace the department’s current headquarters, an aging 20th-century farmhouse next to the fire station on Fairfield Street.

Five local companies have submitted bids to manage project construction.

Town Manager Gary Bowman said a subcommittee of the larger building committee established to study the new station will review the bids and interview candidates for a short list. The committee plans to make a recommendation to the council on which company to award the contract to sometime next week, according to Bowman. Given the tight time frame the town has to finish the station, officials are anxious to put the plan into motion.

“We can’t afford any down time. We have to continue pushing forward,” Bowman said.

The bids are only for project management and don’t include items such as materials or labor, Bowman said. All the bids came in at or below the cost the town expected, Bowman said, adding, “There were no surprises.”

The town has secured $900,000 in financing from Skowhegan Savings Bank, which offered better loan terms than the Maine Municipal Bond Bank, according to Bowman. Another $150,000 is being taken from two reserve accounts to pay for the project.

Mayberry Builders, from Oakland; KR Fabian Builders, from Norridgewock; L.N. Violette Inc. and the Sheridan Corp., both from Fairfield; and JF Scott Construction, from Winthrop, submitted bids for the project. The details, pricing and layout of the bids varied considerably, so the committee needed time to go over the bids, Bowman said.

The town would like the project manager to hire local firms as subcontractors on the construction, Bowman added.

“We are really going to push for those people to be local,” Bowman said.

The Town Council and the Budget Committee proposed the new police station to voters last spring. The department’s current headquarters, a converted farmhouse, is cramped and old, has serious security deficiencies and is unsuitable for police work, town officials said.

The planned station, on the other hand, will be laid out for police functions and include areas for offices, vehicle parking, subject questioning, locker rooms, bathrooms and a training room that will double as a space for Town Council meetings and public gatherings.

Oakland residents overwhelmingly backed the plan in a referendum in November, when 70 percent of voters authorized building the station.

The town aims to demolish the current building in March and plans to complete construction by Oct. 2016.

In the meantime, the police will have to find temporary housing. One plan is to locate the department in the Town Council chambers in the basement of the adjacent Town Office. The council probably would meet in a local public school during that transition period, Bowman said.

Another possibility is using the training room in the Oakland fire station to house the police. Arrests and other security-sensitive police business would be handled at a Police Department in a neighboring community, Bowman said.

The set-up won’t be ideal, but the payoff will be, he added.

“It’s going to be an uncomfortable set of circumstances for a while, but the end result will be well worth the pain,” Bowman said.

Peter McGuire — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @PeteL_McGuire

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.