Mayor forms building committee for Lewiston fire station

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LEWISTON — Mayor Shane Bouchard has formed a building committee that will aid in the design of the Fire Department’s new substations.

The entire project will eventually replace all three of Lewiston fire substations, beginning with the Sabattus Street station next year. 

A study last year recommended replacing the city’s fire substations on Lisbon Road and Sabattus and Main streets, and funding has been built in to the city’s five-year Capital Improvement Plan. The stations were built between 1950 and 1952, and evaluations have shown the buildings to be inadequate for today’s needs.

Funding for the first of the new buildings, at $3.3 million, was included in this year’s Capital Improvement Plan. 

On Thursday, Bouchard announced the new building committee via social media, stating the committee has been tasked to work with the architectural firm “to create a state-of-the-art design that meets the current and future operational and safety needs of the Lewiston Fire Department.” 

Bouchard said he selected the members of the committee following conversations with fire union leadership, fire and city administration and members of the community.

Fire Chief Brian Stockdale will chair the committee. It will also feature residents Dennis Theriault, Harry Miliken and Ray Hurilla; the city’s buildings superintendent, Louie Turcotte; and Lewiston firefighters Samantha Mayo, Nate Mailet and Chris Fournier, and Tim Trainor and David Beaule, who are lieutenants in the department.

Bouchard said the firefighters were chosen based on experience and because they represent a variety of shifts and fire houses.

He said Beaule and Fournier work out of the current Sabattus Street station, and are also residents of the area where the proposed station will be located.

“Thank you to all of the staff, citizens and firefighters for stepping up and serving,” Bouchard said in the announcement. “I look forward to seeing the product of your work.” 

In August, the City Council approved entering into an option agreement to buy a 10-acre property at 55 North Temple St. for the new Sabattus Street substation.

City officials have said the current Sabattus Street station is on a small parcel that is not large enough to support a new station, nor is it possible to easily and cost effectively expand this property.

The North Temple Street parcel was recommended as the preferred location by an engineering consultant who looked at four sites.

He said the 10-acre property, near the intersection of North Temple and Sabattus Street, is relatively level and requires minimal infrastructure investments, including water, sewer and stormwater.

After talks with the property owner, the city completed an appraisal of the property, which put the market value at $290,000. The city had previously had the parcel assessed at $98,450. 

The Sabbatus Street fire substation in Lewiston, which is scheduled to be replaced, is expected to be built at 55 North Temple St., a 10-acre parcel near the intersection of North Temple and Sabattus streets. (Sun Journal file photo)

A concept design for a new Lewiston Fire Department substation was included in a study that recommended the city replace all three of its substations in the coming years. A new building committee will work with the architect on the building design. (Sun Journal file image) 

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