By Patrick Cronin
Hampton Union, Tuesday, May 1, 2007
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
HAMPTON -- The town will be able to keep the fire station open at Hampton Beach despite not having the $80,000 needed to remove hazardous lead paint that was found in the building.
Fire Chief Hank Lipe presented selectmen with a plan during Monday's meeting that would keep the station open for only $31,050, with $23,275 coming from encumbered funds for the project from the 2006 budget.
"My proposal is to create a lead-free substation inside of the existing contaminated area," said Lipe, who noted the plan includes constructing partition walls in the bay to reduce the lead remediation square footage.
"Nothing will be repainted and the remainder of the leaded areas will be secured from personnel and the public," Lipe said.
The walk in medical clinic will remain open as will the EMS supply room.
Lipe said the projected budget to complete the work also includes testing employees for lead poisoning and renting a storage trailer to house supplies and other equipment that can no longer be housed in the station.
The town was being forced to remove the paint or close the century old station by the state's Department of Labor, which discovered the pain in the ceilings of the apparatus bays during a routine inspection in December.
Town Manager Fred Welch told the board last week that he was worried the town may have to shut down the station after all the bids to remove all of the paint came in over $80,000.
Selectmen said they were in favor of Lipe's plan but wanted to know exactly where the $8,140, that was not budgeted is going to come from. Welch told the board that he plans to come before them next week with a report on what will have to cut from the budget to come up with the money.
Lipe said one of his main objectives in coming up with the plan was to maintain a fire suppression presence at Hampton Beach.