FARMINGDALE — Selectmen will once again open bids for the town’s long-awaited fire station project at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Selectboard Chairperson Jim Grant said on Feb. 20 there will be no action during the Wednesday meeting aside from opening the bids. He added that 11 contractors had taken out plans for the project, though he was not confident all 11 would return with bids.

The project looks poised for summer 2019, after stalling in 2018 due to bids coming in higher than anticipated and financing challenges related to the government.

In 2017, voters approved up to $1 million in funding for a new station next to Gosline’s Hardware on Maine Avenue. That funding was never secured because it was insufficient to cover the cost of bids received in September 2018. The bids — all of which were rejected in October 2018 — ranged from $1,543,000 to $1,776,651. Selectman and engineers said skyrocketing material prices were to blame for the high bids.

Residents, although they thought the plans were too expensive in December 2018, approved $1.7 million in funding for the station. In response to residents’ complaints, selectmen approved minor changes to the project, which will save $43,650 in construction and engineering costs.

Financing for the building was finalized in January when selectmen accepted Kennebec Savings Bank’s loan offer based on a 4.29-percent interest rate. The town was looking to secure funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but the government shutdown complicated the process. The town could make annual payments of $126,759.48 or pay it down monthly to reduce total interest. Projections by town staff showed $835,189.60 in accrued interest over the 20-year term.

A bid will likely be chosen at the next regular selectboard meeting on March 6.

The site of the fire station, just north of Gosline’s Hardware on Maine Avenue, has been clear since May 2018. The plan is to build a three-bay, 80-foot-by-80-foot station.

 

Sam Shepherd — 621-5666
[email protected]
Twitter: @SamShepME

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