FARMINGDALE — A new fire station probably will wait until next year after selectmen voted this week to reject all bids for the project — which were $543,000 to $776,651 higher than their budget.

“The decision is going to be to not accept any bids because they were in excess in what we wanted to spend,” Selectman Wayne Kilgore said at Wednesday’s meeting. “Sometime in February or March we will review what we got and put it back on the street.”

Voters approved $1 million for the station in June 2017. Because the bids were so high, the town would need to hold a special town meeting to appropriate additional money.

Selectwoman Nancy Frost said she would like to plan a date for a public hearing ahead to gauge community input. Selectman Jim Grant said he wants to speak with Town Clerk Rose Webster, who was not at the meeting, about the effect the increase in funding would have on the property tax rate.

Deputy Town Clerk Cynthia Burnham said the soonest a special town meeting could be convened would be in December. No date was set for a meeting, or a public hearing, on Wednesday.

The motion to reject all bids passed unanimously.

“The reason for refusal is that we don’t have that much money,” Grant said. “We’re not approved to spend that much.”

Quotes were solicited for both wood- and metal-frame structures, with some optional amenities to be pared back to fit within voter-approved spending limits.

Fifteen companies took out plans for the fire station. Four bids came in by Sept. 25, with the lowest being a $1,543,000 bid from West Rockport-based Bruce Laukka Inc. for a wood-frame structure. The highest bid came from Brewer’s Nickerson and O’Day at $1,776,651.

The current station at 289 Maine Ave. is cramped — with the trucks having less than a foot of clearance between mirrors. The plan is to build a three-bay 80-foot-by-80-foot station, with a 100-foot-by-100-foot parking lot.

The future site of the station was cleared in May and now is empty. Kilgore said last month that 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.

Town Clerk Rose Webster said in August that the town has spent “approximately $232,000” on the project to date.

Sam Shepherd — 621-5666

[email protected]

Twitter: @SamShepME

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