The Maine Army National Guard has armories in every region across the state, but those who work in the facilities say the buildings are in desperate need of an update.
“It is not a stretch to say that we have soldiers who are deployed right now in Afghanistan who are in safer, more modern facilities than they have back here in the state of Maine,” said MAJ Michael Steinbuchel, Public Affairs Officer for the Maine Army National Guard.
This realization is what lead to bond question one on this year’s ballot. If approved by voters, the Maine National Guard would get a $14 million bond. That money would help pay for the repair and modernization of 15 armories from Portland to Houlton. Many of the buildings are out of code and small repairs aren’t helping.
One of the biggest problems has to do with heating issues. At the Drill Hall in Belfast, the ceiling is made completely of wood and steal But that’s not the only problem.
Steinbuchel said, “They have asbestos tiles, they’re leaking, they have mold issues, they have structural damage.”
Many of these armories were built between in the earlier half of the 1900’s. At that time, the buildings were community centers and shelters for emergencies. The guard wants to bring people back into the facilities, BUT they say it’s impossible with these current conditions.
“Would you want your family in one of these facilities? The answer to me is no,” said the Public Affairs Officer
Mainers will vote on question one on November 5th.