Sale of old Fire Station to partially fund sand, salt shed

Town approves proceeds for new structure
By Fran Gonzalez | Oct 13, 2018
Photo by: Fran Gonzalez A new sand and salt structure was not part of the original bid Searsmont officials received from the builder of the new Fire Station.

Searsmont — Town residents during an Oct. 3 special town meeting approved disbursing proceeds from sale of the old Fire Station between a new sand and salt shed and the new Fire Station.

A quarter of the money will establish a fund to replace the sand and salt shed, while the remaining 75 percent will be used to help pay for the new Fire House.

Searsmont Town Clerk and Treasurer Kathy Hoey said, "We need a new sand and salt shed building and we need to start saving."

Selectman Bruce Brierley said town officials hope to lease the current sand and salt shed, located on the same property as the old fire station, from the new property owners for a period of five years. He said the town has received an offer on the property but declined to disclose details for fear of other prospective buyers "in the wings."

The new Fire House has a nearly $1.5 million price tag, according to a handout provided at the special town meeting.

To offset this amount, $1 million is covered by a bond, roughly $200,000 is in a special Fire Department capital reserve account, $22,789 was collected in donations, and the estimated 75 percent of the expected sale of the old Fire House is $90,000, bringing the total remaining funds needed to $140,802.

Residents also approved an article authorizing the selectmen to appropriate up to $250,000 from a town surplus fund to pay costs of the new Fire House that exceed the bond and reserve account.

Brierley said the surplus fund is "built up over the years" and use of the money will not affect the tax rate.

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