HOWLAND- Safety and functionality are two of the primary reasons Howland town officials decided to move forward with a new municipal building.
Howland residents voted in favor of a new municipal building at a special meeting last week.
With the current plan, the fire department, EMS transport center, and town offices would be combined into one building at a site on County Road.
“The town office building we’re in currently was built in about 1915,” Howland town manager, David Lloyd, told us. “The fire station, an older metal commercial grade building, probably early 1970’s.”
Lloyd said the decision for a new municipal building has been two years in the making.
The new building would consolidate expenses and improve safety for firefighters.
“The building that we’re in, we have most of our equipment there. It’s packed. The people there have no room to work,” said Lloyd about the fire station. “It’s very difficult to get around the facility. This building will expand our services in this area.”
The building is expected to cost around $3.4 million.
“It’s proposed to be funded 100% through taxation, so that will change the taxation rate from 2 to 2.5 mils,” said Glenn Brawn, chair of the town’s selectboard.
Lloyd said the cost of that would go up if they continue to wait on the issue.
“We were told if we waited until next year, construction costs would be 15 to 17% higher,” Lloyd explained. “When you’re looking at $3.4 million, that would be an additional $500,000. So it’s the right time to move this project forward.”
The new building should be completed within the next year.