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Fire station update tops full agenda for Falmouth council

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Fire station update tops full agenda for Falmouth council

FALMOUTH — Next week's Town Council meeting will begin an hour early to accommodate a full agenda in the council's only December meeting.

Fire-EMS Chief Howard Rice will report on how operation of the department has gone during the past six months without the Pleasant Hill Fire Station, Town Manager Nathan Poore said.

"We weren't anticipating any action, so it's probably a workshop item," he said.

Though Poore said he isn't sure if Chairwoman Cathy Breen will entertain public comment on the issue, he said there will be a chance sometime in the future for more public discussion of what was a controversial decision.

Rice said Tuesday that statistics show little change in service since the station six months ago was shut down temporarily as a first step toward permanent closure.

"We've looked into the calls and reviewed what's gone on since July 1 and we don't feel the closure will impact public safety at all, so we'll recommend it stays closed," he said.

An added per diem, 24-hour staffing, as well as the assistance of four fire safety students from Southern Maine Community College, has helped provide required coverage, Rice said, while the members of the Pleasant Hill station that had been active continue to be active since being assigned to other stations.

"I feel we are still getting crews there in a timely fashion and getting larger crews there in the same amount of time," Rice said.

Other items on Monday evening's agenda include the second half of the Green Ribbon Commission report and an executive session that could potentially authorize acquisition of a property that was discussed in an executive session at the end of the last council meeting, Poore said.

Though the council was considering a followup on the Brown property during Monday's meeting, the discussion has been postponed to January because of time constraints, Poore said.

The first hour of the Dec. 14 meeting, from 6-7 p.m., will be a discussion with two of Falmouth's three legislators, Republican Sen. Jerry Davis and Democratic Rep. Mary Nelson. Rep. Joan Cohen, D-Portland, will not be able to attend.  

Peggy Roberts can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or proberts@theforecaster.net.