FARMINGDALE — The Fire Department has secured about $10,500 to buy equipment for the town’s new fire station, scheduled to be completed next month.

Last week, Farmingdale selectmen approved $5,500 to buy a side-by-side ATV for the Fire Department and $4,956 for racks for fire equipment.

Fire Chief Dana Mealey said the side-by-side, a used 2002 Yamaha Riot, will be purchased from the Belgrade Fire Department. He said it has a small pump on it that could be useful for small brush fires on the Kennebec River Rail Trail, which is not always accessible by bigger vehicles.

Mealey also said it would be valuable for use on the town’s 21 miles of snowmobile trails because it comes with a set of tracks. He said the closest similar vehicle is in Litchfield. The one the department will purchase, Mealey said, could be used for rescues in off-road areas in nearby towns. He said a new side-by-side with similar attachments would cost about $22,000.

“I think this is a real bargain,” Mealey said. “The track system alone is over $4,000.”

The town will foot half the cost, $2,750, from Fire Department reserves. The other half will come from the town’s firefighters association, which funds itself through various fundraisers.


Construction continued Friday at the new Farmingdale fire station on Maine Avenue.

Gary Peachey, owner of Augusta-based Peachey Builders, said he anticipated the new fire station, just north of Gosline’s Hardware on Maine Avenue, will be completed the week of Nov. 18. He said that could change, but the company has been making up ground steadily after losing a few days in the spring because of wet weather.

Town Clerk Rose Webster said the original cost of the contract with Peachey Builders was $1,349,176. With various change orders, it is now $1,361,425 — or an increase of less than 1%.

Peachey said his company usually works with a 5% margin for change in its contract price, and he does not anticipate any major changes in the final month.

But Webster said the town will still have to incur other costs related to the fire station’s construction outside of Peachey Builders’ work. She said the town has paid A.E. Hodsdon, the project’s engineers, $79,181 to date, and owes them $28,000 more.

Northern Sign has also received $7,750, and will receive another $7,750 by the project’s end. The town has also paid $3,174 to S.W. Cole Engineering Inc. for concrete testing. Webster said she also expects IT work at the station to cost between $7,000 and $9,000.

To date, Webster said the town has spent $933,194 on the project. The town is paying for the project with a $1.7 million bond, which was approved by residents in December 2018. Webster said she does not expect the town will spend the entire $1.7 million on the project.

Mealey said the new racks will be placed behind the firefighting apparatuses at the new station. He said town firefighters usually keep their uniforms in the vehicles, which is hazardous to their health if they become exposed to dangerous materials in the line of duty.

The National Fire Safety Administration said in a fact sheet there is a link between dirty personal protective equipment and cancer and other long-term illnesses.

Mealey and Assistant Fire Chief Mike LaPlante also said they were purchasing plastic tables for training at the station, although the selectboard did not vote on this expenditure. In September, the selectboard voted to give sole authority to Selectman Wayne Kilgore, who has served as the liaison to the Fire Department through the project, to authorize expenditures of less than $1,000.

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