AUBURN — For $120,000, the city could get a more secure floor in its Minot Avenue fire station vehicle bay without disturbing people working in the office below.

City staff outlined the repairs to the Central Fire Station planned for this fall. Councilors are scheduled to vote on setting aside the money for that work at their next two meetings. If approved, work would be scheduled later this summer.

“We want to do it before the freeze,” said Derek Boulanger, Auburn’s facilities manager.

Boulanger said the floor was poured incorrectly when the fire station was built. It has a slope that allows water to pool in places. Over the years, it’s weakened the concrete in the floor.

“All that fire apparatus gets washed down and the water just sits on the floor,” he said. “Over time, it has worked its way into the cracks on the floor and started degrading the slab.”

It was first noticed in 2013, but engineers said repairs were not urgent. People working in the Lewiston-Auburn 911 Emergency Communications Center noticed bits of concrete falling from the ceiling last summer and the engineers were called back in.

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“We are trying to move forward now because of the process,” Boulanger said. “We’d like to get it done before the freezing temperatures start so that firetrucks don’t have to sit out in the cold while we do the work.”

Repairs call for removing concrete, adding drains, repouring the floor and adding a waterproof membrane.

“The 911 center has said it will be tolerable,” he said. “They’ve said it’ll be noisy but they can operate. And we will work around their hours and do most of our work when they are least busy.”

Finance Director Jill Eastman recommended the city use unspent funds from the 2013 bond issue to pay for the project. Part of that bond issue went to purchase new street lights but they ended up costing less than estimated.

Councilors said they were fine with the plan, but said the city needs to consider if it wants to keep the fire station and 911 call center in that location.

“We need to have a longer discussion of where the best place and our long-term plan for a fire station,” Councilor Tizz Crowley said. “Is that the best place for it? Is it the best place for 911? I have not heard any discussion about that.”

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