HALLOWELL — The City Council unanimously approved the final design plans for the city’s first new fire station in more than 185 years during a meeting Monday.

City officials will host a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the new station — where the Farwell Building sits on the Stevens Commons campus—Friday afternoon. That building is set to be torn down later this week.

Architect Rosie Curtis presented her design for the station, which will be located where the Farwell Building currently sits, and elevation design drawings. The Planning Board will review the plan during a special meeting Wednesday.

“The last month has been a lot of coordination with the engineers,” Curtis said. “The plans haven’t changed significantly.”

Curtis worked with Fire Chief Jim Owens — who was appointed the city’s permanent chief at the meeting Monday — firefighters and Rudy to design a modern fire station using up to $1 million given by an anonymous donor. At last month’s meeting, Rudy said there has been talk of the donor increasing his or her contribution, but there has not been any official word from the city about whether that has taken place.

“There will be no cost to the city of Hallowell,” Rudy said. “This has been a very satisfying process.”

The 5,300-square-foot station will include a chief’s office, training room, lounge and sleeping space, several bathrooms, a kitchen and conference room. The garage will be 64-feet-long and 56-feet wide, with enough room for three modern fire trucks. Owens has a corner office with two windows, which he said is two more than his office in the current Second Street fire station.

“I know this will be a building the city is very, very proud of,” Mayor Mark Walker said.

As a condition of the donation, the fire station must be constructed at Stevens Commons. The city reached an agreement with developer Matt Morrill to build the station on the parcel of land he donated, where the Farwell Building is now.

Hallowell’s Fire Department and fire services future were under the microscope for most of the last 18 months. The Fire Services Committee spent more than a year researching what the best option would be and made a recommendation to the council to contract for fire services with the Augusta Fire Department. However, the council unanimously voted instead to lease space in an unbuilt station in Farmingdale.

In other business, the council directed Rudy to continue negotiations for the purchase of new firefighter turnout gear and self-contained breathing equipment.

The council also approved a 180-day extension of the city’s recreational marijuana moratorium. Rudy said the state is still working on finalizing rules and regulations for the cultivation and retail sale of recreational marijuana, and said it’s important the city have its plans in order when the state makes any final decisions.

The council continued a discussion on the purchase and relocation of the Dummer House, which would make be moved to an adjacent lot, leaving a parcel of land the city would convert into a municipal parking lot.

The Dummer House, built in 1792, will be moved to the corner of Central and Second streets. The city will help ensure its historic character in maintained in perpetuity and that the building becomes a vital component of the downtown district.

Before the council began discussing official city business, Joan Sturmthal, who donated $100,000 in support of the Stevens Commons project, and Stevens Commons developer Matt Morrill, were honored by the council for their generosity. Morrill donated the parcel of land where the fire station will be built.

Jason Pafundi — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @jasonpafundiKJ

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