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Some remote parts of town will have improved fire response starting next year. When voters approved a bonding package at last month’s referendum, an estimated $1,205,000 was earmarked for the purchase and installation of eight underground water tanks for the fire department. Fire Chief Brian Manware said the tanks “will be used solely for fire protection in areas that don’t have hydrants.”
Manware said that the tanks are used to store a minimum of 30,000 gallons of water, allowing the town’s pumper trucks to supply water to firefighting efforts without having to rely as heavily on assistance from other towns and trucks.
“Time is everything when it comes to fire safety,” Manware said.
Currently, Manware said the department is in the process of identifying potential sites for the tanks to be installed, and speaking with property owners about potentially using their property if need be for the tank installation.
“I think everyone we’ve spoken to so far is on board. The ultimate goal is to improve our ability to fight fires,” Manware said.
The installation of the tanks won’t begin anytime soon, as Manware said the bond funding isn’t available until 2020. “The plan now is to work with the towns engineering firm to engineer done on the first group of sites,” Manware said.
The process to get the approval for the tanks began nearly five years ago, when the department first began exploring the idea of installing the tanks. Manware estimated there are about 30 sites in town that could used for some kind of fire safety component, and that it is likely that future bonding packages will be used to pay for more tanks.
“It is our goal for this to be the first of three installations,” Manware said, adding that the tanks are used in other local communities, and that he has seen that the benefit they provide.
In May 2019, a $10,700,00 bonding package was approved for various capital improvement projects by a vote of 1,689 to 1,133. Besides the tanks, the approved projects include improvements to the Kelseytown Road and Carter Hill Road bridges, Joel School and Eliot School roofs, and road and sidewalk improvements.
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