Capital Improvement Program

Meeting date: 
Tuesday, August 27, 2019

August 27th, 2019

Location: North Branch Fire Station

Present Bob Edwards (ex officio), Bob Holmes (Chair), and Victor Rosansky

Staff Present: Donna Hanson (Town Administrator), Chief Marshall Gale (Antrim Fire Department), Assistant Chief Thomas Beaumont,  Ashley Brudnick-Destromp (Assistant), and Carol Ogilvie (Planning Consultant)

Absent: Steve MacDonald and Neal Pattison (Vice Chair)

CTO:  Chair Holmes called the meeting to order at 9:00 AM

The CIP Committee met at the North Branch Fire Station for a site visit with Chief Gale and to go over the needs of the department.

Site Walk of the Facility:

                Chief Gale explained the building was constructed in 1974 with land donated by the Baer family, and that the station was constructed by volunteers. At the height of Hawthorne College’s enrollment, there was a staff of 25 firemen. The first engine was a 1957.

                Chief Gale said that North Branch is a crucial station, which is not what most people believe. He explained that the station is stationed on the East/West corridor, and that there is roughly 16,000 vehicles a day that pass by, along with commercial traffic.

                In the late 1970’s early 1980’s, Antrim suffered a wind event that damaged the front of the building, and took the roof completely off. As a result, the footprint now is actually wider then before during the rebuild. Originally, there were 3 bays, but 1 bay was removed in order to build a kitchen, bathroom, small gym area, and office. There is no shower in the bathroom.

                The CIP committee walked over to the West side of the building, and observed the large oak tree. Chief Gale explained that the oak tree has caused significant damage to the roof, and that Robblee Tree Service has volunteered to remove the tree. After the removal, they will be able to access the true damage to the roof, and repair it. There is also water damage from this side of the roof that goes into the walls on the west side of the interior building, and this will cause for new sheetrock, insulation, and mold removal.

                Chief Gale explained that there is no septic tank or leach field due to the size of the lot, and that instead there is a 1,000 gallon holding tank that is pumped every 3 years. He added that this is sufficient for the time being.

                The Committee asked about call responses, and how often the station and vehicles are utilized. Chief Gale explained that at least 1 truck responds to every local call, as well as municipal aid calls. Hillsborough and Peterborough use Antrim Fire all the time.

                The Committee asked about vehicle maintenance. Chief Gale explained that there is a fleet mechanic who comes on site to do routine and preventative maintenance, and that he is due out in September of this year.

                Chief Gale said that the 1989 GMC 5500 Engine 3 was supposed to be replaced in 2014, but that they held off and were able to upkeep it. This vehicle now needs to be replaced, and he mentioned that the Highway department is interested in it. The 1994 Freightliner FL80 Engine 2 that is at Central Station will come to North Branch in place of Engine 3 once Engine 2 is replaced in 2020.

                Chief Beaumont explained that, in terms of equipment, they are hoping to get a good used set of Jaws of Life at the station by December of this year. He explained that Engine 1 at Central Station currently has a set, but that sometimes they need 2 sets, and it helps in mutual aid support to have a set at North Branch. The department as a whole has close to 600 runs a year.

                Chief Gale added that the general upkeep of the building itself is minimal, and that the perception is it does not get used very much. He re-instated that North Branch responds with at least 1 vehicle to every Antrim call and mutual aid call.

                Chair Holmes asked why Chief Gale was not asking for an AirVac system for North Branch, where it is a smaller building, and eventually will need it. Chief Gale explained that his focus is Central Station because of the EMS, but in 2 years he plans to do AirVac at North Branch, and will ask for an estimate when he contacts the company to verify if the new system in Central Station will cover an expansion of that building.  

                As far as upgrades to the building, Chief Gale said they upgraded the heat to propane, and the bay doors are now electric doors. As far as a water source goes, they use a shared well between two houses and further up lakeside. This costs them $150 a year in fees to the well association.

                The Assistant asked about signage for the station, and safety pulling out due to location. Chief Gale said there used to be a flashing light, but it was taken down by the state during road work. There is a sign in both directions, and there is one flashing light attached to the sign headed East. Regardless, it is still a concern pulling engines out, and the staff are fully aware of how cautious they have to be. In total, there are 6 staff assigned to North Branch, and that is mostly due to location or where the staff live.

                Chair Holmes asked about run off when cleaning the vehicles. Chief Gale said that they wash the vehicles outside the bay, and that he is aware of the runoff concern. Because of this, he only purchases biodegradable wash chemicals for the whole department. He added that after a call, the North Branch firefighters to go Central Station to wash gear and trucks.

                The Committee asked where the department fills the tanks. Chief Beaumont and Chief Gale explained that they typically fill up at the Water Department or the college, but that when leaving a scene they try to fill up on scene as well if they can. Chief Gale added that anytime a town puts in a bridge, there should be a mandatory dry hydrant installed as well.

                The Committee viewed the small work out room, kitchen, bathroom, and office. Chief Gale said he hopes to have a new floor in by mid fall, and that Edmunds Hardware donates the paint for the fire station. He also mentioned that the Highway department paves the station, and absorbs the cost for them.  There were no other questions, and Chief Gale ended again with reinstating how crucial North Branch is to the department.

Adjourned:  Mr. Edwards made a motion to end the meeting at 9:30 AM,  and Mr. Rosansky second it.

Vote: By a voice vote, all were in favor.

Next Meeting: The next CIP meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 4th at 9:00AM in the Antrim Little Town Hall.   

Respectfully submitted,
Ashley Brudnick-Destromp
(Assistant to the Land Use Boards)