NORRIDGEWOCK — It’s been 30 years since the Norridgewock Fire Department first started raising money for a new fire station, or about three-quarters of the time that Chief Dave Jones has been head of the department.

“I didn’t think I’d be around long enough to see it,” said Jones, who has been chief for 40 years, on Tuesday from the new station at 22 Upper Main St. “Especially when the economy went to pieces a few years ago. Money was tight. We’re luckier than most towns.”

The Fire Department officially moved into the new station Sunday. The move represents a much-needed upgrade. The station has a kitchen, meeting area and ample space for equipment storage.

“It’s pretty exciting to see it done,” said Ron Frederick, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, who added that the station is paid for and was built without a tax increase or borrowed money.

“(The fire station) is another project that the town has worked hard to complete along with the new highway garage (completed in 2014).”

Construction on the building began in May after voters at the Town Meeting approved spending the final $250,000 needed to build the station from the town’s undesignated funds.

The building’s total cost was $819,939. It also included money from the town’s surplus account, tax increment financing and money raised by the Fire Department.

“It’s a long way from what we had,” said Jones, who described having to hold meetings at the old station with firefighters sitting on equipment and having to wash equipment outside the station because there wasn’t enough space inside.

An open house will take place once the department has finished moving in, but as of Tuesday, a date for that had not been set.

The department has 20 volunteers, about a dozen of whom are active, and Jones said he hopes the new station will help attract more volunteers.

“I’d like to have a few more people. Hopefully this will help,” he said.

The future of the old fire station at 70 Main St. has not been decided, but Frederick said it could be sold. There also has been discussion about turning it into a community center.

“We don’t know yet. There are a couple different proposals out there,” Frederick said.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm

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