Anonymous donor pledges $1M for new fire station

By FireRescue1 Staff

HALLOWELL, Maine — City officials are considering whether to accept an anonymous donation of $1 million to construct a new fire station.

The donation comes after a years-long debate over Hallowell’s fire protection services; city officials will decide by April 20 on whether they will accept the donation.

“The donor has established a very aggressive timeline with very specific requirements, and I will work with council to discuss the approach to designing and building a fire station if they choose to do that,” City Manager Nate Rudy told Central Maine.

The donor’s offer stipulates that the funds may only be used for the construction of a new station, and that the donor will withdraw the pledge if any official works to identify them.

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“My first reaction to this wonderfully generous gift was I’m so proud to live in this city where a citizen or citizens are willing to donate such a large sum for the good of the public,” Mayor Mark Walker said.

The city’s current fire station is over 185 years old and is unsuitable for modern firefighters and equipment. The new firehouse would be about 9,500 square feet and include a four-bay garage with room for a fireboat, an all-terrain vehicle and other equipment. The new station will also feature offices, training rooms, a kitchen, a lobby and parking.

A public hearing regarding the matter is scheduled for Thursday night.

“This introduces an element that no one anticipated, and for those who wanted a Hallowell Fire Department in Hallowell, this opens up a new opportunity for them to make that case to council,” Rudy said.