The Town of Sebago submitted an application for a FEMA stimulus funded grant for a new fire and rescue building that would have been located on town-owned land behind Station 2 in East Sebago. Conditions for applying for the grant were that the town already owned the land and was ready to proceed with construction. The architects engaged for earlier conceptual design work were asked to develop plans for a building that would meet town needs and that would fit on the lot. An ad-hoc committee consisting of members of the fire and rescue
departments as well as selectmen, the town manager, and interested citizens.
Sebago's application was not successful and no grant was awarded to the town. Here is the narrative for our unsuccessful grant application:
The Sebago Fire Department is a municipally owned and funded fire department for the Town of Sebago, Maine. We protect approximately 50 square miles in rural southwest Maine on the shores of Sebago Lake. This is Maine’s second largest freshwater lake and is the primary water supply for the City of Portland and 15% of the State’s population. It is a critical infrastructure.
The protection area is rural with forested mountains and numerous ponds and streams, with both full time homes and seasonal camps, cottages and youth camps. The Town of Sebago has a winter population of about 1,500 people, and that number swells to about 6,000 in the summer with seasonal residents, rental cottages, youth summer camps and visitors.
Cumberland County is Maine’s most populous county, and is growing a rate of 45%. The town of Sebago has historically been growing even more rapidly, with a 162% change from 1960 to 2000 that is much greater than Cumberland County and the State of Maine (29%). This rapid growth has taxed the resources of the town and of the fire department for the last several years. Although the current economic recession has slowed the growth and demand for services, when the economy recovers there is no reason to believe that growth will not resume at a rapid rate in Cumberland County and in Sebago, and the need for fire protection of life and property will continue to increase as well. There is a clear and demonstrated need to replace the old, unsafe and uninhabitable fire station with a newer and more efficient
The town has been proactive in addressing demands for fire protection services over the last several years. We have formed citizen committees to take a long-term objective look at the immediate and long-term needs of the town for fire apparatus and fire houses. The town’s Board of Selectmen, Budget Committee, Capital Investment Program Committee and voters at our annual Town Meetings have recognized the need to bring Sebago’s three firehouses into compliance with building and health and safety codes and has committed time and taxpayer funds over the years to do so to the limit of the town’s ability.
As a result, two of the town’s three fire stations have been renovated and upgraded. Sebago’s third fire station, Station 2 in East Sebago, however, is an old, unsafe and uninhabitable structure, which continues to physically deteriorate, and upgrades and renovations to it are not feasible. The building needs to be demolished and replaced by a new fire house in a timely manner. To do so is beyond the financial capability of the town and there is a urgent need for outside funding.
The Sebago Fire Department has emphasized training for its fire fighters, and due directly to a FY08 AFG grant was able to conduct a Fire Fighter I and II academy this year for 13 Sebago Fire Fighters and 14 fire fighters from surrounding mutual aid towns. As a result, 100% of all 24 Sebago Fire Fighters eligible for interior fire attack are certified FFI and/or FFII and meet the requirements of NFPA 1001. (There are also 8 members of the Sebago Fire Department that are exterior rated only, and include Fire Police, Engineers, and probationary firefighters.)
The Sebago Fire Department is requesting $2,546,500 in funding from the AFG FY09 Fire Station Construction Grant to construct a new fire station in East Sebago, to replace existing Station 2 there.
Why do you need the new facility?
The existing Station 2 is an old, unsafe and uninhabitable structure. Building inspectors and structural engineers have determined that it would not be feasible to modify or renovate Station 2 to overcome its structural problems. The fire department believes that the only practical solution to this problem is to tear down the existing station and replace it with a new facility that meets building and safety codes, is energy efficient and is large enough to meet the operational needs of the department at this site.
Describe the existing structure and the shortfalls/deficiencies
Station 2 is a cobbled-together structure. It was first built in 1947 as a small one-story, single bay building that the town soon outgrew. A few years later a second bay was added and a second story put on the building, and in 1975 an extension was added to the rear of the building for additional space to house apparatus. The ground floor of the fire station is 2,100 square feet with dimensions of 35 feet wide by 60 feet deep.
The station is situated on the very front edge of a 2+ acre lot dangerously close to Maine Highway 114, Sebago Road. Apparatus pulled out of the station on the apron extend out into the street, and there have been several near misses from oncoming traffic when apparatus respond to calls or when returning apparatus to their bays in the station. There are no parking places at the station for fire fighters responding to calls forcing them to park their cars in the street. Just keeping the doors clear of snow in the winter is a major problem every year as there is no place to push the snow piles.
The fire department used the second story meeting room at the station as the primary training space until 2004 when it was deemed unsafe. The room had only one egress, an open wooden staircase situated over the building’s furnace, and safety inspections required it no longer be used. Because the building had been cobbled together over the years, it was not structurally possible to add a second means of egress to address safety concerns and use of the meeting room was discontinued.
The 10-foot wide equipment bay doors allow only an inch on each side for fire apparatus to enter and exit, requiring slow and careful exits from the building and slowing down response time to calls. The ceiling in the bays is not high enough to allow in-house maintenance of apparatus, and when the trucks are pulled out on the apron they stick out into the street obstructing traffic. Because there is not room either in the station or on the apron for routine maintenance apparatus must be taken off-site to the Public Works garage or other locations, which has affected response times when a call comes in.
The roof on the building leaks in several locations and the roof needs to be replaced. There is a serious mold problem in the building, and asbestos was used in its construction. The cement block walls and metal frame single-pane windows are horribly energy inefficient, and the heating oil bills every winter are sizeable. There is a shallow water well inside the station but it provides only non-potable water. The septic system for the single bathroom is old and undersized. There are no showers, no decontamination facility, and there is no room for gear storage, a kitchen or bunkrooms for on-call, staging, or full-time fire fighters.
Describe how you’ve determined what you need and why
The Sebago Fire Department has recognized the need to modernize and upgrade the town’s fire stations for more than ten years, and has repeatedly requested funding from the town to remedy the problems. The Town of Sebago has a town meeting-selectmen-manager form of government, and under this form of government the citizens and taxpayers of the town meet annually at a Town Meeting where they elect officers, adopt ordinances, approve appropriations, and make policy decisions that affect the way the town functions. All budget funding for the fire department and other departments are subject to approval by the voters.
The first of many steps to developing a new fire house was taken at the June 7, 2003 Town Meeting when the Town voted to “form a committee comprised of the Fire Chief, 1 Fire Fighter, 1 Budget Committee Member, 1 Selectperson, 1 citizen at large and the Town Manager to study the need and location for a new fire stations or an addition and to report back at the next annual Town Meeting in the form to be voted on at that time.”
The Committee was appointed by the Board of Selectmen and began evaluating the long-term needs of the town for apparatus and fire houses. A detailed inventory of equipment, fire apparatus and facilities was made. Town funds were appropriated and a contract was let in February 2004 with the Maine Fire Training and Education (MFT&E) program of the Southern Maine Community College to assess Sebago’s immediate and long-term public safety needs, both apparatus and facilities.
The consultant made a number of recommendations, including the optimum mix of apparatus for Sebago considering its fire protection needs. The Board of Selectmen, the Budget Committee and the Capital Investment Program Committee began funding for the timely replacement of all fire apparatus according to the apparatus mix recommended by the consultant and every year funds are set aside in reserve accounts so that when a piece of fire apparatus meets retirement age there are funds to replace it. The town has $546,170 in reserve funds for replacement of fire apparatus to date.
The consultant recommended a number of repairs and improvements to the town’s fire stations to address health, efficiency and safety issues. Town funds were appropriated for maintenance and for a major new addition to Station 1 in Center Sebago. At taxpayer expense and with volunteer labor from fire fighters, Station 1 in Center Sebago was modernized with an addition to the building that now houses offices and a training room, as well as a new heating plant and other support facilities. An FY04 AFG grant helped fund a turnout gear washer and extractor for the station. The Department’s training room was moved from Station 2 in East Sebago to the new room in Station 1 to meet safety concerns. Also at taxpayer expense and with labor by the town’s Department of Public Works employees Station 3, in North
Sebago, was winterized and upgraded.
The consultant also recommended building a new fire station along the Route 114 corridor to better serve the fire protection needs of the town and its mutual aid neighbors. At the June 2005 Town Meeting voters approved a warrant article to “accept the recommendations of the Fire House Committee and direct the Selectmen to begin the process of building a new public safety building for the Town of Sebago...”
The work of the citizen Fire House Committee continued over the next several years, focusing on selection of a suitable site for a new station and developing a preliminary building design to meet the apparatus and office needs of the town.
The Committee developed site selection criteria, reviewed 7 possible sites and identified 3 final sites. The final recommended site was on town property on the Route 114 corridor in East Sebago. The site selection process, details of the sites examined and recommendations of the Committee were presented to Sebago voters at the next two town meetings, in June 2006 and June 2007. At the June 2009 town meeting voters approved a warrant article to “authorize the Board of Selectmen to approve use of town-owned land for building a new fire station...” At their July 7, 2009 regular meeting, the Board of Selectmen voted to approve siting the new fire station on town-owned land behind Station 2 in East Sebago.
A conceptual building design for a five-bay structure with offices, bunk rooms and storage rooms was developed by the Committee and presented to voters at the June 2006 Town Meeting. Voters approved Committee recommendations to hire an architectural design firm to prepare a budget, schedule and building design to meet Sebago’s public safety needs. A request for bids was sent to several firms in the state and advertised in the media, and Smith Reuter Lull Architects in Lewiston were selected to do the work. They met with the Committee over the next year and developed building design, construction schedule and budget to meet Sebago’s current and projected needs for a facility.
The Committee and Board of Selectmen rejected the first plan for a 23,510 square foot, five-bay two–story structure that was submitted by the architect as too costly, and the architect was directed to explore other less-ambitious and less-costly options that would also meet the need for improved facilities. They were also charged with looking again at existing facilities to see if any modifications could be made to meet the fire protection needs of Sebago.
The Committee and the architect developed plans for a smaller four-bay one-story structure, 10,350 square feet measuring 90 feet by 115 feet to be sited on the town lot and presented it to the Selectmen at their July 7, 2009 meeting. It is felt that this basic building plan and site would meet the immediate and long-term needs of the town for a new fire station, and that once it is constructed then existing Station 2 can be demolished.. The Selectmen voted to approve siting the new station on the town site.
Describe your construction project
The Sebago Fire Department is proposing a 10,350 square feet fire house measuring 90 feet by 115 feet. The one-story building would include a 7,200 square foot equipment space, which includes three bays (20’ x 80’) and one shorter bay (20’ x 70’) with the capability to house 8 vehicles and pieces of apparatus. A vehicle exhaust extraction system will be installed in the bays sufficient to serve 8 vehicles in tandem arrangement.
The remaining 3,150 square foot space will include 3 offices, 3 bunk rooms/sleeping quarters, a public toilet and two firefighter bathroom/showers, a 400 square foot meeting/training room, a kitchen and day room, and a decontamination room. There is also storage space, a work room, lockers and gear bunkers as well as mechanical and janitor spaces.
We propose erecting a traditional steel frame structure with a poured cement floor, frost and side walls and footings. To make the building as energy efficient as possible in our cold Maine climate, radiant in-slab heating will be installed in the floor of the equipment bays and the building will have full insulation and energy efficient doors and windows. We plan on installing a geothermal HVAC system of approximately 25 ton with 16 to 20 500-foot wells drilled.
Three-phase electric power is now available at the site, and a 25-kW auto start diesel generator will be installed as emergency backup power for the facility.
A dry pipe NFPA #13 sprinkler system will be installed throughout the entire building, with a 20,000 gallon sprinkler water reservoir and fire pump. Smoke and CO detectors will be installed throughout the building, along with a fire security alarm system.
Sebago does not have town water or sewage, so a water well will be drilled and a septic system installed to meet the requirements of the building.
The building site is a 2+ acre parcel of land currently owned by the Town of Sebago. It is a flat lot with mixed tree growth, well drained sandy soil, and no wetland or drainage issues. The lot currently houses a fire station (Station 2) and building a new station on the lot is in compliance with Sebago’s Comprehensive Plan and Land Use Ordinance. Minimal site work will be required to prepare the parcel for the new building.
Three independent preliminary price estimates for design and construction of the new fire station were obtained from 1) our architect Smith Reuter Lull, 2) Allied/Cook Construction, and 3) PATCO Construction based on the conceptual design prepared by Smith Reuter Lull. The three estimates were within 2% of each other, and we are requesting funds as follows:
Construction Costs - totaling $2,166,500 and including:
Building construction - $1,449,000
Site Work - $200,000
Exhaust Extraction System - $50,000
Geothermal HVAC System - $315,000
Dry pipe Sprinkler System - $80,000
Well and Septic System - $33,000
Emergency Generator - $23,000
Appliances for Kitchen - $3,000
Gear Storage - $3,500
Demolition of present Station 2 - $10,000
Administrative Cost and Reserve totaling $146,000 and including the following:
Advertising - $1,000
Bid Contingency (5 % of construction) - $72,500
Construction Contingency (5% of construction ) - $72,500
Fees and Services totaling $234,000 and including the following:
Architects and Engineers - $160,000
Environmental Assessment - $10,000
Approvals - $5,000
Survey and Testing - $7,000
Clerk of Works for 8 months - $52,000
Describe the current status of your project
We are ready to go! - The project is ready to go to engineering design and begin construction upon receipt of DHS approval of our grant request. The site is owned by the town and is ready to be developed. Local approvals or permits are either in hand or are pending. The action conforms to all local zoning requirements.
Town voters have been informed and are supportive - The town has talking about this project for 13 years, and has been diligently working on it since 2003 starting with an assessment of immediate- and long-term fire protection needs of the town. The voters of the town have approved the project at several town meetings over the years and have participated in the review of fire protection plans for the town, the site selection process, and have reviewed building conceptual designs. They support the new building.
The town owns the land - The construction site is a lot currently owned by the Town of Sebago, just behind the existing Fire Station 2 in East Sebago. Voters have reviewed the selection of the fire station site from seven proposed sites, and authorized the Board of Selectmen to site a new fire station on town-owned property. At their regular business meeting on July 7, 2009 the Board approved siting the new fire station on this parcel..
An architect has been hired - The voters of the town approved an appropriation of $45,000 at two separate town meetings and an architect was selected through a competitive bid process in 2007 to prepare conceptual designs, cost estimates and a construction schedule for a new building. The architects have worked with the town and their long-term needs identified in the town’s fire protection plan and have developed conceptual designs that are the basis for this grant application.
Local permits and approvals - The Sebago Planning Board, Town Manager, Sebago Code Enforcement Officer, Selectmen and two separate private environmental engineers have reviewed the proposed site and conceptual designs, and have given preliminary approval. The site and this building comply with the Sebago Comprehensive Plan and Land Use Ordinance, and the 500-year flood plain requirements. A site plan review by the Sebago Planning Board will be done at their July 2009 meeting and it is anticipated that a site plan approval will be granted based on the preliminary review by Planning Board members.
Environmental Assessment and agency coordination - Although a state or local environmental assessment will not be required, an environmental assessment (EA) is currently being prepared to comply with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1970 (NEPA). Summit Environmental Consultants inspected the existing Station 2 and proposed building site on April 18, 2008 and Sebago Technics did a site walk on June 18, 2009 and no “fatal flaws” were found. Letters of initial consultation have been sent to the appropriate state and federal agencies with environmental oversight, and the EA will be developed over the summer of 2009 in order to be ready to submit to DHS when grant approval is given. The Maine Historic Preservation Commission has completed their Section 106 review of the demolition of the
existing Station 2 and have concluded on June 22, 2009 “that there will be no historic properties affected by the proposed undertaking...”
Mutual aid and response time collaboration - The Town of Sebago was approached in 2008 by the neighboring Town of Standish to share the use of the new fire station planned by Sebago. Standish and Sebago work closely together as mutual aid towns, and Standish provides dispatch services for Sebago. In his June 9, 2009 letter Standish Fire Chief Libby endorsed the East Sebago Station Project and felt that it’s location near the Standish/Sebago town line would be “critical to ensuring rapid and adequate emergency response.” He continued “For over 20 years Standish has shared a station, apparatus and personnel with another border community. Standish has also been involved in the Southern Maine Community College student live-in program providing college students a place to live, the fire department in
station response staff and a phenomenal educational experience. The benefits are endless with these programs and with a new station in East Sebago we would have the opportunity to house personnel and apparatus together and our departments would have the needed space to utilize this model.”
Local employment - The unemployment rate in Sebago exceeds the State and National level (April 2009 figures). Once the DHS approval is received we will prepare an RFP to select an architectural/engineering firm to prepare engineering plans, which will be used to begin construction. We will include in the RFP a requirement that bidders guarantee hiring local contractors and labor to help alleviate the high unemployment rate in Sebago.
Can this project be funded solely through local funding resources?
No. The Sebago Fire Department operating budget is 100% funded by tax revenues from the Town of Sebago. The town’s tax base is small and nearly all residential. The tax base is sufficient only to support funding for the department’s operating budget for basic needs but not for a major capital expense that a new fire station represents. For the last several years there has been no significant growth in the town’s municipal budget or in any department’s budget. The fire department’s operating budget has seen only a very modest growth for the last eight years despite the best efforts of the town to plan ahead and be fiscally responsible.
There are two major reasons why the town cannot afford to build a new fire station. First, there is competition for the town's limited ability to fund projects, and roads are currently considered a higher priority than a new fire station. The condition of our roads hase deteriorated over the years because of increases in traffic from increased population and increases in the price of hot top and tar. Road maintenance has been under funded over the years. The town has developed a comprehensive road maintenance plan to repair, upgrade and restore all the town paved roads. The voters have approved a road budget this year that is more than double previous years. The other real possibility is that one or more of the three state-maintained roads in Sebago will be turned back to the town to maintain, and our road budget will
have to double again, possibly as soon as next year.
The second major impediment to capital funding a new fire station is the way that towns are obligated to support their local school districts. Our municipal budget to run the town represents only about 1/3 of the total town budget. The other 2/3s of the total town budget goes directly to pay the town’s share of the Maine School Administrative District (MSAD) #61 and Cumberland County levies, and these two levies continue to increase significantly every year with no end in sight. The town has little or no control over the growth of either the school or county budgets. Despite legislation to the contrary, the state support for education continues to decline resulting in a greater and greater burden on the shoulders of local taxpayers, and the impact to Sebago taxpayers continues to increase every year. The impact of
the economic recession has resulted in even steeper declines in state educational support, and the four towns that support MSAD 61 are facing significant increases in their taxes over the next 2 or 3 years at a minimum.
In addition to outside growth imposed on the town, the State of Maine enacted legislation in 2005 (LD-1, January 2005) that imposes a spending cap on municipalities. Between the two pressures it is unlikely that there will be a substantial increase in the fire department’s operating budget in the foreseeable future. The town has recognized the importance of the fire department to the overall quality of life in Sebago, and has committed as many of its limited resources as it can to support it – we just cannot afford the capital outlay to build a new station on our own.
This grant is urgently needed in order to protect the health and safety of the public and firefighters in both our community and to provide these services to our surrounding communities. If the department were to rely solely on tax revenues to build a new fire station it could not be done. The price of construction increases every year, and a new fire station is now out of the financial reach of our town. When the citizen’s committee was formed to look at the long-term fire protection needs of our town, a neighboring town had just completed a comparable fire station for $600,000. We have been told by architects and construction engineers that it would cost nearly four times that amount to build the same structure today. We have seen the price of construction exceed our capability to fund at a local level. The needs
of Sebago are real and the grant is a real necessity.
Describe your efforts to generate funding for the construction.
Sebago prides itself on having its financial affairs in order. We have a Capital Investment Program (CIP) to identify future needs and to save for these needs. Every vehicle in the town fleet, including all the fire department apparatus, is assigned a replacement date based on usage formulas, and funds are set aside every year in reserve accounts so that money will be available to purchase new vehicles when the time comes to replace them. The town currently has $546,170 in reserve to replace fire apparatus and will add more each year as part of the CIP process; these funds are restricted to specific vehicle replacement and are not available for any other use.
Capital projects are also included in the CIP. Funding for a new fire house was first added to the CIP in 2004. The Sebago voters have approved $45,000 over the years to hire an architect and move ahead with the process of siting and building a new fire station to replace Station 2. Along the same lines, voters approved $77,200 in the town’s operating budget for needed maintenance on Stations 1 and 3, and funded additional moneys to hire the fire protection plan consultant and the efforts of the citizen committee to develop the new fire house.
How long has your organization been saving to implement the construction project?
The process to build a new fire station have been underway since 2003, and funding in the town’s CIP for this capital expense since 2004.
Have you sought other grants or other sources of funding?
Sebago’s Board of Selectmen, the Budget Committee and CIP committee have discussed at great length the possibility of bonding to build a new fire house. We also explored bonding for a long-term road construction program, and were approved for a state road bond. Bond rates are favorable now and the town has a superior credit rating. However, Sebago has always taken a conservative view to capital expenses and has relied on its ability to save for the future rather than borrow. The voters did not support taking out a road bond and we did not pursue this further, instead increasing the road budget operating budget to pay for road improvements over several years. The same negative voter reaction to a fire house bond is expected should the town attempt to do so to fund a capital project that is nearly twice the
town’s annual municipal budget.
The town has been successful in obtaining AFG grants over the last several years, but building construction is not part of the AFG program. We have explored other grants as a source of funding to pay for all or part of the fire house, but have been unable to find a suitable source of funds to apply for.
Have you obtained, but lost other grants due to your inability to provide matching funds?
Describe your local economic situation, including specifics regarding unemployment.
Sebago has been hit hard by the current national economic recession. Not only has the amount of revenues coming into the town to pay our bills declined significantly, but as the state struggles to meet its own budget problems it has announced further reductions in many of the revenue streams that the town depends on to keep the town running. Things will get worse, we are afraid, before they improve.
The impact of the recession on our community is clearly shown in the very high unemployment rates we are seeing in Sebago. In April 2009 Sebago had a 9.4% unemployment rate, which was higher than the 8.2% rate for the State of Maine and the 8.6% rate for the entire nation for the same period. Unemployment has increased dramatically since 2007, increasing from a low of 2.5% in August 2007 to the current rate.
The construction trades have been particularly hit hard in Sebago. When letting the construction contract for the new fire house we would require that the contractor employ the local labor force to help make a significant improvement on the local unemployment figures.
What will be the operational benefits your department or your community will realize if the project described is funded?
The fire department’s response time will improve, the response area will expand with increased collaboration with the neighboring town of Standish, and building energy and maintenance costs will be reduced.
Station 2 is a liability to the town and needs to be torn down and replaced. It is unsafe and structurally unsound, and doing any major repairs or renovation would be “throwing good money after bad.” Because it is a structure that has been added to over the years, it is not structurally possible to correct the safety problems with the building, and it would not be possible to make it inhabitable for fire fighter living quarters.
The design, location and size of the existing station limit the operational use by the fire department and creates a safety problem when apparatus enter or leave the structure. This will be eliminated with the new station, sited at the back of the town lot with ample fire fighter parking off street.
A new fire house would be energy efficient, will allow the department to house all of its equipment inside out of the weather (several pieces must be stored outside due to lack of space). It will allow apparatus maintenance at the station reducing “away time.” Response time will be improved as a result, and traffic safety issues with units responding from the new station will be eliminated. The town now spends far too much to keep the grossly energy-inefficient existing structure heated in the winter time. The new energy-efficient station will reduce the maintenance costs significantly.
The most exciting opportunity that the new station represents is the ability for the first time for Sebago to enter into an agreement with the Southern Maine Community College to extend their student live-in program from the neighboring town of Standish to our town. The new station will allow Sebago to provide college students a place to live, and as a result the fire department will have an in-station response staff available for rapid response. In addition, Sebago is growing to the point where it will only be a matter of a few years until we will need to have a full-time fire fighter on duty. We now have dedicated EMTs at Sebago EMS on duty during the days and the demand to start a similar program for the fire department is growing. The new fire station bunk rooms and support facilities will allow this to happen when
the need is there.
Describe the consequences if the project is not funded.
The existing Station 2 will continue to deteriorate, requiring a major expenditure of funds to heat it and undertake repairs. These efforts will not overcome the building’s failing as an unsafe, uninhabitable and inefficient structure, so it will be in reality a wasted effort.
Describe the level of local contribution that will go toward the project.
The town has already made significant contributions, as described above, to fund the development of a long-term fire protection plan for the community, as well as studies to properly site the new fire station and develop conceptual design, cost estimates, and construction timelines. We understand that under the terms of the DHS grant, funds spent to date are not reimbursable.
We also understand that a local match is not required, but because the construction of this new fire station will be the most significant new structure the town has ever built in its 183 year history, we are prepared to make a significant local contribution to demonstrate our community commitment to the project.
Going forward, the town is prepared to commit $128,000 in local matches and in-kind contributions, including $17,000 in unspent CIP funds, $10,000 for the Environmental Assessment, $5,000 in local permits, $7,000 in surveys and site tests, $1,000 in bid advertising costs, $3,000 in appliances, $3,500 in gear storage, and $81,500 of in-kind labor for interior finishing and local coordination with the clerk-of-the-works.
Describe the extent to which “green” elements will be incorporated into the new structure.
We view the new fire station as an opportunity to demonstrate to the town and other communities around the region who are contemplating a new municipal structure the value of incorporating energy efficiency elements into the building design and operation.
To make the building as energy efficient as possible in our cold Maine climate, we will design into the building the maximum thermal envelope practicable. Radiant in-slab heating will be installed in the floor of the equipment bays and the building will have full insulation and energy efficient doors and windows.
We plan on installing a geothermal HVAC system of approximately 25 ton with 16 to 20 500-foot wells drilled. The system will incorporate state-of-the-art techniques including wet-based circulators and low feed movement devices. Flow meter gauges and monitoring instruments will be installed to allow the system efficiency to be tweaked depending on environmental conditions.
The 20,000 gallon reservoir for the sprinkler system will be installed inside the building and used as a temperature medium for storing waste heat and cooling. We plan on monitoring building efficiencies and publishing a report on the town website so that energy savings are transparent to the public.
As an additional “green” measure we will investigate the value of installing solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on the roof for electric energy generation, and also solar collection panels for domestic hot water production as an augmentation to the geothermal system.
Describe the expanded service(s) that will result from operating out of the new structure.
Sebago has mutual aid agreements with several surrounding communities, and routinely responds to fire and rescue calls from these communities. Since 2005 Sebago has had an automatic aid system with several of these communities, including the neighboring town of Standish. Standish has a need to provide additional fire protection to the Wards Cove/Richville area of Standish, the area just south of the Sebago/Standish town line. The new fire station in Sebago is strategically sited to serve this area and will eliminate Standish’s need to build a new station to cover it.
Cooperation between the two departments will expand the effective service area provided by Sebago. It will improve our ability to provide mutual aid to this area of Standish.
As described above, the new station for Sebago will open up a whole range of possibilities for providing a safer working environment for the department’s fire fighters and will improve response times to our citizens. Just having the capability of live-in fire fighters at the station completely changes the response paradigm for the department.
STATEMENT OF EFFECT
How would this award affect the daily operations of your department and how would this award affect your department’s ability to protect lives and property in your community?
Operating out of old Station 2 is difficult and unsafe, and being able to respond from a new station will reduce response times, allow for more efficient maintenance of the apparatus, and reduce the cost of maintaining an old, inefficient structure. Having a new efficient facility will encourage our volunteer fire fighters to conduct in-station maintenance of apparatus, encourage productive station time and training attendance, and eliminate problems with parking when responding to a call. The primary mission of the department, to protect the lives and property of our residents will be enhanced.
Describe how the new construction will enhance the department’s response effectiveness.
The new facility will be better sited on the lot and will be safer for fire fighters and the public when calls come in. It will be better designed for quicker responses.
If the construction will result in an increase in the number of facilities, describe how the new facility will be staffed and equipped without sacrificing fire suppression responsibilities elsewhere in the jurisdiction.
The new fire house will replace an existing old, unsafe and uninhabitable fire house. The old fire house will be demolished when the new one is constructed. There will not be any increase in the number of facilities.
How will the new structure enhance the department’s ability to provide mutual aid?
Sebago has been approached by the neighboring Town of Standish to share fire department facilities and apparatus. They have a gap in their northern service area along Route 114 and would like to explore an arrangement whereby they would store a piece of apparatus in Sebago, and possibly house fire fighters there as well. Standish has indicated that they would be willing to contribute to the cost of apparatus as well as operational maintenance. At the June 2008 town meeting Sebago voters authorized the Board of Selectmen to enter into negotiations with Standish to explore this further.
In his June 9, 2009 letter Standish Fire Chief Libby endorsed the East Sebago Station Project and felt that it’s location near the Standish/Sebago town line would be “critical to ensuring rapid and adequate emergency response.” We feel that this arrangement will be mutually beneficial and will enhance the department’s ability to provide mutual aid.
In a related matter, when Sebago requests neighboring mutual aid departments to provide station coverage at Station 2 in East Sebago when Sebago is responding to a fire, these departments are asked to man a station that is unsafe and has no facilities for them to stand by. The new station will eliminate this short coming.
*1. What is the purpose of your request?
*2. If your request is to replace or rehabilitate an unsafe or uninhabitable station, what is the reason for your request?
2a. If you have health-code violations or orders to vacate your existing fire station, what is the date of that order and what are the conditions under which the order was issued?
* 3. If your request is to construct an additional fire station in order to better serve your community, did you conduct a formal survey to identify the location of your new fire station?
Yes No N/A (we're modifying an existing station)
a. If yes, what percentage of your first-due response area can currently be protected within a five minute response time (from the time of dispatch), without the new station?
b. If yes, what percentage of your first-due response area will be protected within a five minute response time (from the time of dispatch) once the new station is operational?
* 4. Regardless of local building code requirements, will your new station or your modification project be designed and built according to the most recently approved requirements and codes developed by the International Code Council as well as NFPA standards that involve fire station construction including sprinkler systems (in accordance with NFPA 1, chapter 13) and fire alarms and vehicle exhaust extraction systems (in accordance with NFPA 1500, chapter 9)?
* 5. Will your project provide for sleeping quarters and other amenities to accommodate 24/7 occupancy?
*6a. Has your department obtained formal cost estimates for your project from a contractor, engineering firm, architectural firm, or some other industry source?
6b. If so, please provide the estimated cost obtained. If not please provide your best estimates for the cost necessary to complete your project.
6c. What is the source of the estimated cost (e.g., general construction contractor, engineering firm, construction cost estimate tables such as Marshall and Swift, R.S. Means, etc.)?
* 6d. What is the total square footage of the modification to your facility or your new facility?
* 6e. There are no cost-share requirements under this program, but is your department willing to contribute to the cost of the project?
* 7. Do you own the land on which the construction will occur?
* 8. Is the land on which the construction will occur already zoned for the planned fire station?
* 9. The land on which you plan to build the new fire station:
Is a vacant lot which has never been disturbed (never been built on).
Is a vacant lot which has been cleared for construction of new fire station. Month/year of demolition:
Has existing structure or structures that must be demolished to make room for the new fire station.
N/A, our project is a renovation project.
* 10. Has your department already obtained all the necessary local permits for your planned construction project?
* 11. Has your department already conducted an environmental assessment (EA) for your planned construction project?
No, but assessment has been started.
N/A (we are modifying an existing station).
If applicable, explain what work has been done on the EA:
* 12. If your project is for a renovation of an existing structure, have you already received clearances from the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to proceed with the project?
Yes, clearance has been obtained.
No, clearance was sought but is not necessary.
No, but clearance has started.
No, we have not received clearances.
No work has been done on historical clearances from the SHPO.
N/A (we're building a new station).
* 13. Are utilities already at or adjacent to the land on which the construction will occur?
Yes, the utilities are readily available to the site.
No, utilities will have to be brought to the site.
* 14. Is your community a participant in the National Flood Insurance Program and in good standing (i.e. not sanctioned)?
* 15. What was the unemployment rate for your county or city in December 2008 (go to the website provided under the help button to the right)?
* 16. What was the unemployment rate for your county or city in December 2007 (go to the website provided under the help button to the right)?
* 17. What is the population of the county or city for which you have provided the unemployment statistics above?
~ *18. How long will it take to complete your fire station after the completion of the environmental assessment and receipt of Federal approval to begin work?
*19. How long has your department been ready to start the construction of your fire station (how long have you had your permits)?
*20. How much has your department spent on your project to date?
~for design (architects)~
~other (explain) ~
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* 21. Is your department responsible for the provision of Emergency Medical Services in addition to fire suppression?
*22. What percentage of your active firefighters meets the training requirements under NFPA 1001?
*23. Will the new fire station improve your department’s ability to affect mutual aid?
If yes, explain
Quote Standish FD endorsement letter and affect on mutual aid.