Industry residents  approved two one-year contracts with the town of Farmington during their annual Town Meeting Saturday. One is for fire department oversight and response, and the other is for use of the transfer station. First Selectman Lee Ireland, right, explains reasons for the fire service contract while Second Selectman Rob Geisser, also a member of the Industry Fire Department, looks on. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

INDUSTRY — Annual Town Meeting voters on Saturday afternoon approved two year-long contracts with the town of Farmington.

The first contract is for Farmington Fire Rescue Department to provide oversight and fire emergency response in Industry. The other contract is for the use of Farmington’s transfer station.

The $30,000 contract for fire emergency response and oversight would not include emergency medical service calls unless NorthStar requested assistance. There is an opt-out clause for either party with three months notice or one month notice, if serious enough.

First Selectman Lee Ireland wanted to assure voters that this is not an attempt to eliminate the Industry Fire Department. Instead, the select board is looking to enhance and support the department with additional personnel and oversight.

Industry needs firefighters as its numbers are at an all time low, he said, adding that it’s not just a problem for Industry. It’s an issue in Somerset County, throughout the entire state and New England.

Second Selectman Rob Geisser, a 25-year member of the Industry Fire Department, said it was a robust department when he was in his 20s. But now, as he has rotator cuff issues in both shoulders and is wearing glasses, he no longer does interior work at fires, he noted.


“We are aging out, nobody is stepping up,” he stated. When air packs are used, there needs to be two people inside, two outside. Industry only has three people certified to use air packs, he added.

Several residents expressed concern that the town’s tanker might be housed at Farmington as part of the agreement, which could reduce access to it in the evenings when more people are available to respond to calls.

It takes at least 10 minutes to get dressed and respond if a call comes in midwinter when vehicles might need to be cleared first, Geisser said. “Farmington has people there, ready to roll,” he noted.

Joe Paradis was fire chief during what Ireland considered the good years, when people could join the department without the training and mandates that are required now.

Things are different now than they were when regionalization was discussed several years ago, Paradis said. “Today is totally different.”

Farmington is backed up by well-trained personnel, and it just spent $800,000 on a new firetruck that will essentially be Industry’s if the contract is signed, he stated.


“I totally support this,” Paradis said. “The tanker doesn’t have to be first on scene. It’s going to be better, there will be a butt in the seat, it’s moving.”

Insurance companies rate every town on a scale of 1-10, and Industry is a 9, Selectman Stewart Durrell said. If the department staff numbers continue to go down, that could become a 10 and insurance premiums will double or more, he noted.

As a taxpayer in Farmington, Durrell said he was sick of paying to provide services to other towns.

Resident Susan Ruhlin asked whether Farmington could contract with other towns and possibly not be available to provide services for Industry in the future if voters wished to wait until more details were known.

“I want to be first at the table,” Ireland stated. The contract price with Farmington has been negotiated down, but could lower more after a year as more history becomes known on what services were provided, he noted.

A written ballot found 40 voting in favor and 10 opposed.


The $3,877 contract to use Farmington’s transfer station will allow Industry residents to dispose of mattresses, stoves and other bulky waste for a fee. Recyclable materials will be free.

The contract eliminates the need for a large trash day, the recycling attendant and a contract with Archie’s to rent a dumpster and remove recyclables left at the Industry Town Hall.

Archie’s price has gone up, and pick up of materials is slow, Ireland said. The town is paying $10,675 for recycling, and a large percentage of what is dropped off is not recyclable and needs to be sorted out, he noted. Industry would save more than $6,000 annually, he said.

Stickers or some other arrangement to identify Industry residents may need to be worked out, Ireland added.

During the election Saturday morning, Ireland received 24 votes for another three-year term as selectman. He ran unopposed.

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