With no comment from public, Falmouth councilors OK closing fire station

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FALMOUTH — No one came forward to speak about the permanent closure of the Pleasant Hill Fire Station at Monday’s Town Council meeting.

Without public comments, councilors voted unanimously to accept a recommendation from Town Manager Nathan Poore and Fire-EMS Chief Howard Rice to close the station.

Last spring, when some residents backed retaining the structure, the town compromised by temporarily shutting the station in May.

The fire truck once housed at the Pleasant Hill station has been relocated, and the volunteer firefighters have been reassigned to other stations. The town can save about $50,000 by eliminating the station, and closing it will save on repairs and upgrades to the heating system, new windows, flooring, septic and exhaust systems and providing handicapped accessibility.

Councilors also voted 6-1 to endorse an application for a sidewalk project along Gray Road. Three-quarters of the $220,000 would be funded by state and federal grants from the Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System. The remaining 25 percent would come from the town.

Councilor Tony Payne was opposed. He said given the economic climate, landscaping and improvements when not absolutely necessary are “a little premature.”

The sidewalk will be 2,000 linear feet long and will run from Leighton Road to the Presumpscot River bridge.

Councilors decided against endorsing a second application to PACTS for $407,000 in streetscaping along Route 1.

In other business, councilors:

• Accepted Arborside Drive, Wisteria Circle and Ledge Rock Circle in the Foreside Arbors subdivision as public streets. The council will take a final vote on the application at its next meeting on Monday, Jan. 25.

• Voted 7-0 to reverse a settlement agreement for restrictions on 105 Sunset Drive.

• Authorized Poore to accept an easement from property owners of Foreside Place for public use and maintenance of sidewalks on private property.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or [email protected]