FAYETTE — The owners of the Fayette Country Store will soon be the owners of the former fire station across Main Street from the store.

LeeAnn and Archie Miller’s offer of $22,000 for the property and a plan to use it for parking as well as potentially more retail space was accepted by selectmen last week.

Selectmen had marketed the 50-plus-year-old former firehouse for redevelopment, and property bidders had to explain how the new use would enhance the neighborhood and benefit the community.

The former fire station is on a quarter acre and does not have running water or a septic system. The Miller’s didn’t say if they plan to tear the building down or renovate it. For the time being, it will be a parking area.

“The town has been nice enough to allow our employees and tenants to park there while it hasn’t been used as a fire station,” LeeAnn Miller said Tuesday. “That was the driving issue. If someone else got it, they would probably not allow parking there.”

Selectmen voted unanimously last week to accept the Miller’s proposal. The town stopped using the station in early 2006 when a new station opened down Main Street, which is Route 17.

“The town has been very supportive,” Miller said. “We try to pass that back. It’s a great little town.”

The Millers, who live in Readfield, have owned the store for 13 years.

The sale of the property will put it on the property tax rolls, but the closing is probably several months away, both sides said.

Customers have recommended the Millers use the property to increase their supply of hardware items, because Kents Hill Lumber Co. is closing in early November, she said.

“We have some hardware, and they suggested that might be an opportunity to expand on what we have. It has some potential. We hadn’t considered the hardware when we bid.”

The store owners completed an expansion to the store last year, converting a room into an ice cream parlor.

Two other proposals for using the former fire station property were submitted, but one was withdrawn, said Town Manager Mark Robinson. He said selectmen are continuing discussions with the third bidder, the Maine Wood Carvers Association, with an eye to allowing collaborative use of Starling Hall, the former Grange hall also on Main Street.

“We’re planning to look at it,” said Norma Wing, of Vienna, president of the Maine Wood Carvers Association. “This is just an initial investigation.”

The group organized n 1984 and has about 150 members in eight chapters statewide, reaching from Limestone to Newington, N.H. The group was founded in Farmington.

Betty Adams — 621-5631
[email protected]

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