State Signs Lease Saving Maine Taxpayers more than $23 Million

January 2, 2014

For Immediate Release: January 2, 2014
Contact: Jennifer Smith, (207) 624-7800
Director of Legislative Affairs and Communications, DAFS

AUGUSTA – Reaching a deal that will save the taxpayers of the State of Maine more than $23.4 million over the next 30 years when compared to current Portland leased facility rates, today the State of Maine signed a contract with ELC Construction, Inc. for the lease of new Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Department of Labor (DOL) consolidated offices in South Portland.

“The negotiated lease is a great deal for the State,” said H. Sawin Millett, Jr., Commissioner of the Department of Administrative and Financial Services (DAFS). “Our tough negotiations since the bid was awarded provided for more than $9.4 million of additional savings over what we originally estimated.”

The 30-year lease will provide the State with 75,000 square feet of space for DHHS and DOL to co-locate their Cumberland County offices. The consolidation of the two agencies into one location will make it easier for clients to access services provided by both agencies and promote the Administration’s goal of enabling Mainers toward economic independence by providing opportunities to move from welfare to work.

“This is a good deal for the taxpayers of Maine, and it consolidates two agencies into one providing Mainers resources and services, which are easily accessible,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “Our Administration looks forward to serving Mainers at this new location and continuing to help people identify services and programs that are most helpful and offer training and assistance to successfully transition people from welfare to a career they enjoy.”

Under the terms of the new Cumberland County Regional Office lease, the rate per square foot in the first three years will be $19. Even after escalators provide for periodic increases over the 30-year term, the final price per square foot at the end of the lease in 2045 will remain about $3 less than today’s rate of almost $30 at the current DHHS leased space on Marginal Way in Portland.

“This deal demonstrates that bringing sound business practices to government can save money for the taxpayer while improving the delivery of services to clients,” said Commissioner Millett.