THOMASTON — The Thomaston Select Board approved a request for qualifications as the first step in building a new Thomaston Fire and Emergency Medical Services building.

Inside Thomaston Fire Department Courtesy of Thomaston

“We’ve outgrown the current building,” Fire Chief Mike Mazzeo said at the Monday, Sept. 12 meeting. “The future of this business is going to require staffing in the station. We don’t have living quarters or sleeping quarters. The building is crumbling. We have systems that drastically need upgrading. It makes sense that this is the time for a new building.”

When the board began the review of the Fire and EMS building committee, board chair Diane Giese said she was “absolutely thrown” by the report. “It’s pretty desperate,” she added.

Town Manager Kara George said she and the committee wanted the board to approve a request for qualifications. George said this would be for an architect who is an expert in the field to design a new fire station.

Board member Pete Lammert said it should be someone with an understanding of the unique building needs of a fire station, such as keeping the gear clean and separate from the living quarters.

Inside Thomaston Fire Department Courtesy of Thomaston

Once requests have been received, the board will review them and determine who to hire to design the fire station. At this time the only action authorized is for George to create and send out the request for qualifications.

Mazzeo said the Thomaston Green was the best option for building the new fire station, as it was the center of town. “This is where people live,” Mazzeo said.

He told the board it did not make sense to build the station on another end of town, as that would increase the response time to emergencies.

Mazzeo said he was not aware of any discussion to build the fire station anywhere besides the Thomaston Green.

The town also set a public hearing and special town meeting.

The public hearing will be Sept. 19 at 6 p.m.

The special town meeting will be Sept. 28 at 6 p.m.

Inside Thomaston Fire Department Courtesy of Thomaston

The special town meeting includes three articles. One appropriates an additional $147,406 for the police department.

This additional funding for the police will allow the town to hire two additional full-time officers and increase the pay rate of officers as well. The additional officers will allow the Thomaston police department to implement a new scheduling system.

Another article authorizes the town to spend an additional $12,000 from the Dragon TIF funds for a preliminary engineering study of Knox Street.

The original $15,000 authorized from the TIF in June was not enough for the preliminary engineering report, according to Pollution Control Superintendent John Fancy.

Fancy said the additional funding was needed to cover the costs of the report and to work with CMP on installing utility poles. This would avoid moving the poles later when sidewalks were being built.

Inside Thomaston Fire Department Courtesy of Thomaston

The final article for this town meeting accepts a donation of land from the estate of Maurice Sawyer, known as Sawyer Pond and Recreation Lot.

A full recording of the meeting can be found at: townhallstreams.com/towns/thomaston_me.