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Corinth to Hold Another Vote on New Firehouse Proposal

Corinth — Voters will go back to the polls next month to decide again whether to build a new firehouse in town after 161 residents presented a petition to Corinth officials to take a second look at the project.

Town Clerk Nancy Ertle said this week that what would be a third public informational hearing will take place May 13 at 7 p.m. at town hall on plans for a new station that would accommodate four fire engines and a rescue vehicle.

The new vote will take place May 20 in daylong Australian balloting, she said. Voters initially gave the OK on March 31 to what could be the $1.16 million project, but just barely. The vote was 148-146, so the subsequent petition was not unexpected among town officials.

“No, it’s not a big surprise at all,” Selectman Allen Locke said Friday.

“The problem is, it’s a simple majority vote, so one vote can determine whether we spend more than a million dollars. Politically, that doesn’t make any sense.

“We have about 1,000 residents, and 700 of them didn’t show up,” for the vote, Locke said.

Corinth Fire Chief Ed Pospisil said he and the firefighters “aren’t mad” at anyone about having to vote again, and he thinks more explanation of the project is a good idea. For example, he said, the amount requested is not to exceed $1.16 million.

“We’ve talked to some of them, and all people are hearing is this $1.1 million. We do not want a Taj Mahal. If this goes out to bid, and we’re able to end up doing it for $800,000, that’s fine.

“We’re also hearing that people want the job to go to local builders. That’s a good idea; we have a lot of them around here,” he said.

Locke added that there’s plenty of incentive for Corinth residents to be clear on what they’ll be voting on.

“This will be the definitive vote. It’s the last vote that can occur in the calendar year, according to the way the law is written.”

A similar fire department issue has been ongoing in neighboring Bradford. Votes there will gather Tuesday evening to reconsider their Town Meeting decision last month to buy a new fire engine for $679,000.

The Bradford discussion and vote will take place at 7:30 at the Old Bradford Academy auditorium.