Police & Fire

Milo sending out RFPs for public safety building

MILO — The town of Milo will be sending out five requests for proposals to engineering/building firms for a design-build of the near $6.4 million public safety building project. The RFPs should be back for the select board to review at the May meeting.

During the April 4 select meeting Town Manager Robert Canney said he has reached out to five Maine-based firms. 

“These are builders who have built public safety buildings, they built police stations, they built buildings at the University of Maine at Orono,” he said. 

The five companies are Bowman Constructors, J.M. Brown Construction/Haley Ward, Kleinfelder, Inc., S.W. Cole Engineering, and Sheridan Construction. Canney said he and some department heads met with J.M. Brown Construction/Haley Ward the day prior after the businesses requested to come up.

“I got out of that meeting and got really excited to get this rolling because we got a lot of work in front of us,” the town manager said. “It’s going to take a lot of time and we understand we won’t be breaking ground this year but we have a lot of work to do on the time side of it. You know that money is not going to go away so we have all the time we need.”

Canney said the five companies will be invited to bid for a design-build option. “That way we’re not inundated and we’re guaranteed a local builder who understands the ground,” he said.

Howland recently went with and Greenville is in the midst of design-build. “You get more flexibility and there’s more direct communication instead of communicating with three different parties,” Canney said.

He said the bid-build option “takes longer and is less flexible” and towns need to go with the lowest bidder, which does not always produce ideal results.

The first step in the process will be to conduct site survey work on the intended public safety building location on two Park Street lots to ensure construction can be done there. “Once we get to the design process and we know what it’s going to look like, we’re going to have public hearings and things like that for people to come in,” Canney said.

“That’s another discussion for another day,” he said about what may happen if the site is deemed unsuitable after site work. “We’re not planning for right now, we’re planning for the next 50 to 100 years.”

At last month’s annual town meeting, attendees formally accepted $6,375,000 in federal funds for the construction of a new public safety building. 

In January the town was awarded the near $6.4 million to construct a new building to house the fire, police, and public works departments. Plans are for the structure to be located less than a mile up Park Street, near the business park and across the road from the Milo Water District office, from the 100-year-old town hall where the fire and police departments are currently located. USDA is the managing agency for the project. 

“We’re trying to make informed decisions before we even get down to the table with the engineer,” Canney said. A Milo group has toured Howland’s new public safety public and were set to visit Newport’s on April 6.

In other business, the select board opted to put two adjacent Main Street lots out to bid. The town is seeking a minimum of $50,000 for the tax-acquired site, which includes the former location of the Masonic building that partially collapsed in early 2021 and was later torn down.

Canney said bidders will be informed of the nearby municipal parking lot upgrades, which should enhance the Main Street property. 

Select Person Tony Heal proposed using $7,000 in town American Rescue Plan Act funds for rec baseball and softball and soccer team uniforms and equipment. 

“So we’re not turning away kids with no equipment or putting the cost on the parents to have to provide equipment or provide uniform costs,” Heal said, before his request was approved. “They shouldn’t be raising money when we have that money available for them.”

The $7,000 should cover the teams for the next three to five years.

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