Residents of Orrington have voted no on a proposal that would have built a new public safety building.

Center Drive School's gymnasium was full at the special town meeting that started at 7:30 Monday night, with residents who gathered to vote on the proposal. The original plan was to hold an informational meeting first, and then take the vote. But it was decided that no discussion was needed and the town council moved immediately to a secret ballot.

Residents have been discussing the 3.5 million dollar proposal for months, and were supposed to have voted weeks earlier. But a mistake in the signing of a town warrant caused the vote to be postponed to December 3rd. That gave residents plenty of time to form an opinion, one way or the other. Some felt the plan to build the combination fire/police station on Tupper Drive was what the town needs, while others felt it could be built for less. Most townspeople agreed, at least, that the town definitely needs a new public safety building of some kind, to replace the too-small, outdated fire station and the inadequate police office.

Once the secret ballots were tallied, the final count was 234 votes in favor, 255 against. What this means for the future of the public safety department's quest for a new building is unclear, at this point. With this proposal denied by voters, the process to put together a more voter-friendly plan will likely have to start from scratch. It was announced at the meeting that the matter would go back to the selectmen, if it was voted down.