LINCOLN, Maine — Town leaders will explain the town’s need to spend $2 million for a new public works department garage during a public hearing on Oct. 18, Town Manager Lisa Goodwin said.

Goodwin said it is important for all residents to comment on the proposed garage during the hearing, which will be held at 7 p.m. at the town office.

“The Town Council has opted for a timeline that is more inviting to the public hearing process and where residents will have more than enough time to visit the public works garage and to review the engineer’s proposal,” Goodwin said in a recent statement.

“The building certainly does represent a liability to the town, though to our favor, we are addressing the identified concerns,” she added.

Ames Associates of Bangor is being paid $68,850 to handle all engineering services for the garage, following public works building committee guidelines on what the building should include, Goodwin has said.

For many years, councilors generally have agreed the existing building on Park Avenue needs renovation or replacement. The garage has had a leaky roof and its sides leak heat because of lack of insulation. It also lacks work space, a lunch area for workers and storage space.

Voters narrowly rejected replacing it with a new structure for $675,000 in a November 2008 referendum. The vote was 1,175 to 1,117.

To cut the building’s projected cost, Ames and the committee reduced the garage’s proposed square footage from 12,800 to 12,065 square feet. That, and other cuts, dropped the building’s price from $2.4 million to $2 million.

If authorized by the council, residents will vote on whether to approve building in a special referendum on Dec. 7. Absentee ballots will be available from Nov. 8 to Dec. 7, at the town office.