FARMINGDALE — The town is nearly done with designs for its new fire station, and the bidding process could begin this week.

Quotes will be solicited for both metal and wooden structures, Selectman Wayne Kilgore said. The design will incorporate a number of amenities, he said, but that could be pared back to fit within voter-approved spending limits.

“We’re getting very, very close,” he said. “We got right down to how many switches we want in each room.”

During their annual Town Meeting in 2017, voters approved spending up to $1 million on the new station. The town warrant in June 2017 estimated the total cost of the fire station, including interest, would be $1,605,900.

Kilgore said a potential price on the station will not be available until the designer, Waterville-based A.E. Hodsdon, comes back with finalized plans this week.

“There’s all kinds of numbers floating around,” he said.

Town Clerk Rose Webster said during last week’s selectboard meeting she heard “a rumor of a price,” which she hoped was “wrong” because the town didn’t have that much money.

She said Friday that the town has spent “approximately $232,000” on the project to date.

The future site of the station was cleared in May and now sits empty. Kilgore said the town paid $190,000 in November 2017 for the lot, which is just north of Gosline’s Hardware on Maine Avenue, also known as U.S. Route 201 and Route 27.

The new station will have three-bays, according to Fire Chief Dana Mealey, and will allow for ample room between fire trucks that are packed tight in the current station at 289 Maine Ave.

The trucks — which have to be specially-designed to be smaller than average trucks in order to fit in the station — have less than a foot between their mirrors and no more than two feet to the back of the truck bay. Backing the trucks in is also difficult, usually requiring a flagger to stop traffic to precisely squeeze the trucks in.

“They stand in the middle of the road on the yellow line with a stop sign and people still drive around them,” Kilgore said.

The new 80-by-80 station will have a large parking lot. Kilgore estimated it would be 100-foot by 100-foot, as a solution to stopping traffic on Maine Avenue through Farmingdale. A 20-foot by 80-foot portion of the station will be two stories, with offices on the first floor and storage on the second floor.

The Fire Station Committee — headed by Kilgore, and comprised of three firefighters and three Farmingdale business owners — led the project process.

“I like that combination because you get people from all walks of life,” Kilgore said.

Mealey, who has served as chief for the last 16 of his 39 years of service, said the new fire station will also provide more room for volunteer training.

“It’s been tight down there for a long time,” he said.

During last week’s meeting, Webster said she would like to display a rendering of the station in the town office.

“I want something the people can see in color,” she said. “People are asking and people would like to see.”

Farmingdale officials were hoping to offset some of the cost of the station by sharing the space with the Hallowell Fire Department, but Hallowell elected to keep their own station. An anonymous donor funded that $1.9 million station in Stevens Commons that was completed in June.

Sam Shepherd — 621-5666

[email protected]

Twitter: @SamShepME

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