MINOT — Selectmen learned Monday that fire department officials are developing an alternative proposal for dealing with space constraints at Central Fire Station.

“We’re working on a plan that calls for two smaller additions rather than one big one,” fire Chief Dean Campbell told the board.

Voters at the last three annual town meetings have turned down the idea of one major expansion to the station in the municipal complex on Woodman Hill Road.

The proposed 44- by 64-foot addition addressed all the department’s immediate needs and provided for future growth, but the price tag, estimated at $536,000, was just too much.

The new plan, Campbell said, is to construct a 20- by 40-foot addition at the Orchard Station off Death Valley Road and a one-bay, 16- by 60-foot addition at the Central Fire Station.

The addition at Orchard Station would allow adequate space for training sessions. Campbell identified space as the department’s most critical immediate need.

He said they haven’t figured out what the cost might be, but he expects it will be a whole lot less than $500,000.

“And it’s small enough so we can probably do some of the interior work ourselves,” he said.

Tina Love, one of Minot’s five representatives to the Regional School Unit 16 board, told selectmen they are going to try to have someone from the school committee attend a selectmen meeting once a month. She sought suggestions on what sort of information the board might be most interested in.

Selectman Dan Gilpatric said he was pleased to hear that communications might improve.

“As it is we don’t have a clue what’s going on until they hand us the bill, saying,  ‘here, pay this,’” Gilpatric said.

Selectman Dan Callahan said that while the school board likely had other more pressing needs to address, he and the rest of the board had for several years suggested the school board might change the name of Poland Regional High School to something that reflects the fact that it isn’t exclusively for students from Poland.

“It’s almost like the rest don’t exist,” Callahan said, “It would be nice to be recognized.”

Campbell said when other school district consolidated, one of the first things they did was change the name of the high school, something that could give everybody a sense of ownership.

Love said the matter has surfaced from time to time and is an element of the district’s strategic plan to be addressed.

Town Administrator Arlan Saunders told the board he met with a representative of Collette Monuments and requested a quote for straightening and repairing stones at Center Hill Cemetery.

“There’s money in the account and some is set aside for this purpose,” Saunders said.

Highway Supervisor Scott Parker said shouldering on Marston Hill and Death Valley roads has been completed and the entire length of Death Valley has been ditched.

The process of hauling and piling winter sand, Saunders said, began Tuesday.

The board also met with Robin Beck, candidate for county commissioner in District 7, to discuss how relations between county officials and local boards might change once the expanded county board takes office and a county administrator is hired.

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