HALLOWELL — City council unanimously approved taking out a $250,000 loan to purchase 31 acres of land at Pinnacle Drive in Hallowell, a spot where officials hope to build a new public works facility.

City Manager Gary Lamb said the land cost $275,000 altogether, but because the city’s borrowing limit is $250,000, it had to pay $25,000 down and then take out the loan.

The council last month approved spending $35,000 toward this down payment, with the extra $10,000 being available to help with any legal or closing costs. Of that, $20,000 was taken out of the city’s general savings account and the other $15,000 was taken from the sale of a foreclosed property on Water Street.

Lamb said the loan is through Kennebec Savings Bank and will be paid over five years. The total interest for this period is $40,050, bringing the grand total to $290,050, or a $58,010 annual payment.

The purchase comes after voters in November showed overwhelming support for a nonbinding referendum question asking if they would support spending $2 million to $3 million on acquiring land for a new multi-bay public works facility.

Lamb said the deal could be finalized March 31.


“Right now there are no obstacles for that to happen,” he said, “which is a wonderful thing to say in a real estate deal.”

The city’s finance committee is considering putting money into next year’s budget to help the city obtain architectural information and construction estimates.

“A lot of these buildings are package deals,” said Lamb. “You don’t have to design it from scratch, architecturally.”

The city manager said the facility would be built on a slab and likely not have a formal second story.

“This will be a conventional garage with at least four large bays for plows to pull in,” he said. “And then probably another one or two smaller overhead doors for pickup trucks, small garden tractors and other such equipment to come in and out.”

He added the building will be heavily sprayed with insulation, which may be expensive, but would be cheaper in the long run in terms of heating costs.

If all goes well, the city would add a bond question to the November ballot asking if voters would approve funding for the new facility.

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