The construction site for Skowhegan’s new public safety building is seen last week at 51 E. Madison Ave. Town Manager Christine Almand said Wednesday that the construction will move forward despite selectmen initially balking at the need for another $83,289 for the work. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel file

SKOWHEGAN — The $10 million public safety building expected to be ready for occupancy by next June is still going to happen, despite a vote selectmen took Sept. 13 to reject a request to add $83,289 to the contracted project amount.

That was the word Wednesday from Town Manager Christine Almand who said officials are discussing ways to resolve the funding matter.

“The project is still moving forward,” she said.

Selectmen met in executive session Monday to discuss the funding issue and received some legal advice about options for what the town can do, according to Almand.

“Then there’s something I need to work on before we meet again on that particular item,” she said.

She said she is not at liberty to reveal what was discussed Monday in executive session.


In the not-too-distant future, she said, another discussion will be held on the matter, though she said she does not anticipate it will be at Tuesday’s scheduled selectmen’s meeting.

At the Sept. 13  meeting, Travis Noyes from Haley Ward Inc., a Bangor-based architectural and engineering firm, said the extra money is needed because the load requirements for the public safety building necessitate a different foundation plan from what was originally conceived. He also said the foundation must include mass footings. He said they could not design something that was going to fail.

Jason Jendrasko of Westbrook-based Benchmark Construction said the loads that came in from Murox, the manufacturer of the pre-engineered building in Canada, were different from those shown at the time he and others were working through the process. The town had approved an $8.25 million “guaranteed maximum price” contract with Benchmark for the work.

Jendrasko said it is industry standard with a preengineered metal building to evaluate the structural loads once it is under contract.

Some selectmen were opposed to spending more on a contract that already had been agreed on. Selectmen Steve Govoni and Paul York, the two selectmen who voted last week to spend the extra money, said the town needs to move forward.

The town has $282,000 in contingency funds that could be used to fund the change order.

Skowhegan has a $665,000 contract with Haley Ward as part of the project. Outside of that and the Benchmark contract, the town is spending almost $750,000 on equipment for the building.

Selectmen voted in January to hire Benchmark. Residents in 2020 passed an $8.9 million bond to build the combined fire and police station at the corner of East Madison Road and Dunlop Lane.

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