Voters in a small Hancock County town will head to the polls in February to decide on if the volunteer fire department should get a new $3.9 million station.
A referendum vote in Orland is scheduled for Feb. 1 to see if residents are interested in borrowing $4 million to replace the current aging station, which can barely fit the department’s fire trucks and has severe drainage issues.
Built in 1974, the station sits on a flat, low-lying lot that makes it prone to flooding and difficult to clean off engines. It also lacks an exhaust system or washroom for the force’s approximately 25 firefighters to clean up before heading home.
“The current building is in rough shape,” said Chief Bob Conary. “It’s outdated. A new fire station would be a lot safer for firefighters.”
The new headquarters, proposed to be built on town-owned land by the municipal transfer station, would have proper drainage and be larger than the current building to accommodate the size of modern fire engines.
It would not have living quarters, but those could be added in the future if the town ever moves ti a 24-hour staffed department.
Conary said the town received a guarantee on the price from contractor Nickerson O’Day, and with contingencies it comes in at $3.9 million.
A public meeting to go over the plan is scheduled to be held at the town community center on Dec. 15.