BETHEL — Bandages aren’t a solution to a long-term problem, like the leaking roof of a more than $1 million fire station built in 2004, according to Town Manager Jim Doar.

At Monday night’s selectmen meeting, Doar told the board the fire department continues to experience facility problems specifically related to a leaking roof. The back half of the roof is in the worst condition.

After being solicited for a quote, Hahnel Bros. offered to fix the problem for more than $128,000, Doar said.

“They guarantee there will be no leaks for 20 years,” he said.

However, that doesn’t fit the department’s $10,000 budget for facility maintenance.

Doar gave the board three alternative options:

• Authorize a full repair of the roof, which will overdraw the department budget, and ask voters to OK the overdraft at the next town meeting.

• Explore fixing the back half of the roof now, which will also likely overdraw the budget, necessitating town meeting approval.

• Try to find a stop-gap solution for repairs this fall and make a decision to fund the entire repair or half of the repair in the next budget.

Selectmen, however, wanted more options.

“We gave them the $128,000 quote to fix the whole roof, and they’re balking because it’s a lot of money, and it is, I agree,” Doar said.

He said he disagrees with the current approach, that of spending a few thousand dollars for patch jobs.

“These Band-Aid fixes might make people feel good if they spend $6,000 or $7,000, but not if you have to do it every year,” he said.

Doar, who was hired in June, said he doesn’t know the full back-story behind the fire station’s problems.

“The story I got was that it was done on the cheap, and they didn’t have an architect do the final design, and they probably should have,” he said.

Since fiscal year 2006, Doar said the town has spent more than $50,000 on fire station repairs.

He said Bethel does have a healthy undesignated fund balance and could use money from that instead of asking taxpayers to foot the bill in the next budget.

In other business, two special town meeting warrant items were OK’d prior to the board meeting.

One article authorized selectmen to execute necessary grant agreements with the Federal Aviation Administration and Maine Department of Transportation for ongoing capital improvements at Bethel Regional Airport.

The authority part was amended to expire annually instead of automatically giving selectmen the right indefinitely to OK pass-through money matters wherein there were no costs to Bethel residents, Doar said.

The other article asked voters to authorize selectmen to approve a deed restriction for a buffer between the new skateboard park and the Androscoggin River.

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