A drawing of a perspective Rumford fire station at Falmouth Street and Essex Avenue was done by Port City Architecture in Portland. Submitted photo

RUMFORD — A special town meeting will be held the third week in January to vote on securing a bond to pay half the cost of a new fire station, which estimated at about $4.7 million.

Town Manager Stacy Carter told selectmen Nov. 18 via Zoom that the town most recently bonded the estimated $7 million reconstruction of The Island business district and the purchase and conversion of hundreds of streetlights to LEDs by votes at town meetings.

“My recommendation is that we continue along the same path as we have with the other bonds, which would actually help us with our time frame,” he said.

Carter said the bond application must be filed by Feb. 9.

“We have direction out to the architect to have budget numbers by early December so we can prepare that paperwork,” he said.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, a senior member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, earlier announced $1 million for the new fire station was successfully secured. It’s part of the nearly $265 million for 106 Maine projects in the fiscal year 2022 appropriations bills, which must be voted on by the full Senate and House.

Carter said town officials should have the information on the federal earmark before the special town meeting in January. He suggested holding a public hearing a week before when an architect from Port City Architecture of Portland can show the 3-D model and drawings of the station and provide information to the public.

Selectmen did not take a vote, but no one spoke against Carter’s recommendation.

“I agree with you,” Selectman Frank DiConzo said. “We’ve got to get that bond and we’ve got to get it done.”

At multiple public hearings on the fire station proposal this year, it was agreed to select a site and solicit a design. The site chosen was Falmouth Street and Essex Avenue.

The latest estimate on the cost of the 12,000-square-foot building is between $4.7 and $4.8 million. Besides the $1 million federal earmark the town expects, there is $1.3 million from the tax increment financing agreement on extending the power plant.

Rumford Central Fire Station on Congress Street was built in 1924. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

The Central Fire Station on Congress Street was built in 1924. It houses, on a regular basis, five fire engines and two trailers. When other equipment is included, the combined weight is 141,805 pounds. Beyond that, there’s a building that houses another engine, Ladder 3, which weighs in at 69,500 pounds. Despite the flooring system being reinforced in 1991, stress on the structural integrity has resulted in a number of cracks forming throughout the facility.

“Today’s heavier equipment is causing deterioration of the floor,” said Fire Chief Chris Reed.

Reed indicated needs for the new facility include five bays to put the apparatuses in, storage for all the other equipment, office space and sleeping quarters.

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