FARMINGDALE — Work has begun on the Maine Avenue property that could become the town’s next fire station as soon as a year from now.

Throughout last week, workers knocked down trees, a shed, and two homes at 571 Maine Ave., a nearly 1-acre lot overlooking the Kennebec River that the town purchased late last year.

A large white sign now stands at the front of the property, declaring it the “Future Home of the Farmingdale Fire Station.”

The town is trying to prepare the site and the design of the new station in the next few months, so that a foundation and a roof can be in place by next winter, allowing indoor work to happen throughout the coldest months, according to Selectman Wayne Kilgore.

That could lead to an opening one year from now. But the timeline could be longer than that, Kilgore added.

The town paid $190,000 for the lot, which is just north of Gosline’s Hardware on Maine Avenue, also known as U.S. Route 201 and Route 27. Its last residents lived there for decades.

Almost a year ago, Farmingdale voters approved spending up to $1 million for a new station, to replace the one that’s now down the road.

“We went to taxpayers for $1 million,” Kilgore said. “We’re trying to stay under that, but today things cost so damn much money. That’s the goal, but $1 million is what’s authorized.”

The new station would have three bays and be 80 feet by 80 feet in size. It would be set back 100 feet from the road, allowing firefighters “all kinds of room to park and move around and wash their trucks, and do it all safely,” Kilgore said.

By contrast, firefighters must stop traffic for trucks to come in and out of the current station, which is cramped and allows just 11 inches of space between the mirrors of the parked vehicles, according to the selectman.

“It’s pathetic,” he said.

The town is hiring A.E. Hodsdon, an engineering firm in Waterville, to design the new station.

At one point, Farmingdale officials had hoped to offset some of the costs of a new station with an annual fee from Hallowell as part of a lease agreement. But that plan was abandoned when an anonymous donor pledged $1 million to help that city build a new fire station.

Charles Eichacker — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @ceichacker

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