In addition to considering the annual town budget, voters at Wednesday’s Randolph Town Meeting will be asked to approve funding to pay for the design and bid packets for the proposed new fire station and to create a fund to deal with dangerous buildings.

The proposed budget is $2,063,439, making the increase in the budget $10,203, or less than half a percent. Randolph’s tax rate currently sits at $18 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

“It’s a good budget,” Mark Roberts, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, said. “We cut where were could, and we’re still providing services to the town.”

The largest portion of the increase is a request to tap the town’s general fund for up to $75,000 to inspect and repair Closson Street.

Voters will also be asked to approve spending $40,000 to pay for architectural designs and develop bid documents for a proposed new fire station on town-owned Kinderhook Street.

“We’ve had some concept drawings done, and we picked out one to show at the town meeting,” Randolph Fire Chief Ron Cunningham said. Although the design is not final, Cunningham said the proposed fire station would have three bays with an office and meeting area on the side. Because it’s planned for a residential neighborhood, he said it is designed to fit in and not stick out.

It would be an expansion of the current two-bay fire station on Water Street.

“The fire station we have is in the flood plain,” he said. “And it’s been there since the 1960s. It’s small and it’s getting tired.”

Cunningham said while the department has two trucks, a 2002 pumper and a 1985 pumper, the building is being designed for possible future expansion.

“It’s cheaper to do it now,” he said.

The Randolph Fire Station Building Committee has been working on the project for about three years.

“We’ve looked at contracting out for fire service or whatever,” he said, but because of mutual aid agreements with Gardiner and neighboring towns, the town receives fire protection at very little cost.

Neither Cunningham nor Roberts would put a price tag on the project. That will be determined when the building is designed and the bids come back.

If the town chooses to appropriate the money, Roberts said, the next step after the design would be seeking funding to pay for the project.

Voters are also being asked to set up a dedicated fund to deal with dangerous buildings in town and to appropriate money to pay for issues arising from those buildings.

For about nine months, town officials have been trying to get the owners of 21 Kinderhook St. to address safety issues with the vacant and deteriorating house. Town officials received a ruling that they could demolish the building and won a judgment against the owners in court, but Roberts said he doesn’t think the town will get the $71,000 it was awarded.

“Our goal is to have homeowners fix what’s needed so they can keep their buildings and we can have a nice-looking town that’s safe for everyone,” Roberts said.

If the town wins judgments in future dangerous building cases, that money would be directed to the fund to pay the costs of dealing with those buildings, he said.

The proposed budget reflects some fluctuations in what residents are paying for in the current budget.

The cost for ambulance service, for instance, is expected to come in at $8,709, nearly $10,000 less than the current budget because Dresden joined the territory covered by the Gardiner Ambulance Service. Other cost decreases include payments to the Hatch Hill landfill in Augusta, which at $17,772 is down $8,808, and to Central Maine Power for street lights, at $20,000 $1,000 less.

Funding levels for many budget items remain unchanged, including emergency management equipment, emergency dispatch services and street sweeping and catch basin cleaning.

Among the nonbudget items that voters will be asked to decide are proposals to update the animal control ordinance, to reduce the budget committee membership from 15 to nine and to allow selectmen to enter into contracts lasting up to three years.

The annual Town Meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Teresa C. Hamlin School at 17 School St.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ