Augusta Police look to replace crumbling station

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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - "When it rains the roof leaks."

Augusta Police Chief Jared Mills says the police department building has fallen into disrepair and needs a new roof.

"And that would be all fine and good if it didn't have to be a category 4 building."

Police departments are classified as "essential" emergency buildings and must comply with a strict set of building codes. If major repairs or renovations are undertaken on an older building, the entire structure must be brought up to code.

"This was an installation from the Navy back in 1949 that's what it was built for and that's obviously much different from public safety and police needs."

An architectural firm was hired by city council last year…

"to look at the feasibility of either fixing up this existing building or building something new."

The existing building would have to be almost completely rebuilt to comply with category IV requirements, and it has other problems too.

"The layout obviously is much less efficient than it would be under a new structure, something built for public safety."

The two options being considered are building a new station adjacent to the existing one or redeveloping a warehouse on Water street.

"Hopefully by the end of June their going to have their final report of what each site would cost and have some hard and fast numbers for the council."

If the council approves a plan it will be put to voters in a referendum this November.

"So it's not going to fall down around us but the existing structure that we're in is not going to work for our needs moving forward."