The town of Harpswell is moving forward with plans to build a centrally located facility on Mountain Road that would offer round-the-clock fire and emergency medical services to the surrounding community.
The Select Board on Wednesday, Nov. 1, authorized the town to issue a request for proposals from qualified building design firms for the planned facility, along with estimated costs.
“This document has been a long time coming,” Town Administrator Kristi Eiane told the board. “I don’t recall (what year) the voters approved funding for the design of a central emergency services building, but it was pre-COVID, anyway.”
Eiane said the town had done some preliminary concept work on the project, but the effort was shelved because it lacked full support from Harpswell’s three independent fire departments: Harpswell Neck, Cundy’s Harbor and Orr’s and Bailey islands.
“We now have that full support,” she told the Select Board. “This (request for proposals) was taken to the town’s Fire and Rescue Planning Committee, and they have endorsed it.”
Eiane said Harpswell is looking for firms with experience designing emergency services facilities, which contain unique features not found in other municipal projects. She said the town envisions building a relatively small facility that could be expanded in the future as needed.
“I don’t think any of us intend for this to be a massive, gargantuan building,” she said.
Once a design firm has been selected, the firm would lay out a plan for working with the town, solicit input from the Fire and Rescue Planning Committee, and come up with a project design that would meet the town’s current and anticipated future needs, Eiane said.
“We need to get a better idea of the building we want to construct, what it will contain, site costs, building costs, and then be able to go to the voters of Harpswell with more information about funding the building and getting that whole project off the ground,” she said. “So, this is a preliminary design phase here.”
Proposals are due by 4 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 22, and must be emailed to Eiane at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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