BUCKFIELD — The Buckfield Fire-Rescue Station Project Committee met Wednesday evening to compose a list of add-ons in case bids come in under the budgeted amount.

Last year, voters approved spending $1 million to build an 80- by 100-foot station next to the Municipal Building on Route 117. It will replace the 60-year-old station.

The design called for an 8,000-square-foot station, including seven vehicle bays, as well as rooms for offices, bunks, training, storage and a kitchen. Emergency vehicles will still enter and exit the building onto Main Street.

During Tuesday evening’s selectmen meeting, the board was informed that the size of the new fire rescue station would have to be reduced from 8,000 square feet to 7,000 feet to stay within the $1 million budget.

The committee agreed Wednesday to create a list of items that the town could add to the bid specs in case the bids came in under the estimated amount.

The item that brought the most debate was the sprinkler system.

Architect Andrew Hyland of Port City Architects of Portland told the committee that a sprinkler system was not a necessity in the new fire station, and that the building would meet code without it.

Hyland added that a sprinkler system would cost an additional $35,000 to install, and that if they decided to install a system after the station was built, the cost would increase substantially.

Fire Chief Tim Brooks told the committee, “As a fire chief, I want to see a sprinkler system in that building. As a taxpayer, I don’t want to see a $1 million building being built without a sprinkler system inside of it.”

Brooks said he would rather get rid of the bunk rooms, the kitchen and the day room, which would leave enough money to install the sprinkler system.

One of the representatives with H.E. Callahan contracting company told the committee that the sprinkler system should be their lowest priority, because the building would remain functional without it and it would still meet code.

“I hear what you’re saying, Tim,” Town Manager Cindy Dunn said. “This is a tough one.”

Rescue representative Chip Richardson said, “In a perfect world, we would have a sprinkler system, but unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world. Once we get the bids in, maybe there will be enough money to do something like that.”

Dunn later called for a vote; Dunn and Richardson voted against the sprinkler system, while Brooks voted for it.

The item at the top of the committee’s list of add-ons was a mezzanine that would be used for storage.

The Callahan representative said that the mezzanine could fit into the bid price.

“If you want a 360-square-foot mezzanine, it would cost between $11,000 and $12,000,” he said. “If you wanted a 700-square-foot mezzanine, you’re looking at double the price, closer to $22,000 or $23,000.”

Also on the list was paving and trim around windows.

Richardson also told Hyland and the Callahan representative that it may be more beneficial to have whoever is awarded the bid paint the bay area of the fire station as opposed to the living quarters.

“I think that we, as a department, can easily paint the living quarters by ourselves,” Richardson said. “We wouldn’t be able to touch the bay area. It’s too tall.”

The committee will present its list of items to selectmen and the Budget Committee at their joint meeting at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, May 10.

[email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: