DUMMERSTON — By an overwhelming vote of 401 to 69, voters in Dummerston approved a five-year loan to pay for a new fire station.
For the last five or six years the West Dummerston Volunteer Fire Department has discussed building a new fire station because the current station has been "suffering," according to Assistant Fire Chief Richard Cogliano. He noted there are structural, water and mildew problems. As a result of the water leakage, there is wear and tear on the firefighter gear, which may be a hazard to firefighters' safety. The structural problem limits Engine Two from properly fitting into the station, in addition to other Mutual Aid engines that cover the station when West Dummerston is out on the scene.
The approval authorizes the town to borrow between $150,000 and $170,000 to build the new fire station.
"There are a whole host of reasons why we're looking to replace the station. We've been talking about it for the last five or six years, coming up with a design and how we want to do this," Cogliano told the Reformer over the weekend.
"I am extremely pleased," said Cogliano, on Tuesday night. "We are very thrilled. This is a huge win for not only the department but also the town."
Cogliano said the department has been in preliminary talks with an engineer and hopes ground can be broken in September.
"If all goes well, we can be in before the winter," he said.
Cogliano mentioned that the new fire station is not just about response times in Dummerston, but because it is a Mutual Aid station, it's also about responding to other towns when they need assistance.
"We would really like to thank all of the voters who turned out in support of this article and in support of the fire department. It means a lot to us that our work is recognized by the voters."
An estimated payment plan for the center fire station replacement, with tax increases based on a property valued at $200,000 and with a loan interest of 2.75 percent, the additional taxes on such a property over five years will be $140.13.
Bob Audette can be contacted at 802-254-2311, ext. 160.