The proposed new fire station for Bath. Photo contributed by Marc Meyers

Bath officials are trying to build support for a $13 million bond referendum to build a new fire station, saying that the current station is unsafe, even lacking a sprinkler system.

They outlined the $16.5 million plans during a meeting Thursday night.

If the bond question passes at the polls in November, the city would borrow $13 million to pay for the design, construction and station equipment. The remaining $3.5 million would be paid for using existing tax increment financing funds.

City councilors voted to send the bond to a referendum last August following a 2021 “reuse report” that named the former Morse High School as a desirable site for a new fire station.

The current fire station, built in 1957, was deemed to be in “poor condition” in 2009 and recommended for replacement in 2020 by Harriman, an architectural firm hired by the town, according to Bath City Manager Marc Meyers.


Bath Fire Station in 1957. Photo contributed by Marc Meyers

“The current fire station does not meet the needs of the department, our employees or the services we provide to the community,” Meyers said. “The proposed fire station will provide additional safety, security and space as well as improvements to efficiency and flow for the operations.”

Poor air quality, no sprinkler system, spaces contaminated by diesel exhaust, inadequate garage bays and doorways, and stacking of emergency vehicles are among the safety concerns at the current station.

A look at Bath’s fire station today. Photo contributed by Marc Meyers

The new station would be built on the north end of the former Morse High School property on High Street, replacing the current station at 864 High St.

“If voters support this project, the bond will be paid back in annual payments over 25 years. The estimated property tax increase for a $250,000 home is $125,” Meyers said. “Due to recent amendments to the city’s TIF districts, we avoid borrowing an additional $3.5 million, which helps reduce the impact on property taxpayers.”

Fire Chief Lawrence Renaud said he is more than happy to answer any questions voters may have at a series of public open houses this month.

“I would encourage any citizen of Bath to get involved and come visit the fire station and let us help you understand the need of their department to provide highly skilled, proficient, time-sensitive emergency medical response services, fire suppression, public education and numerous other public safety services,” Renaud said.


Voters can learn more about the project at Bath Fire Department open houses at 6 p.m. Oct. 13 and 27.

“Over the past 65 years, the services we provide have changed, and our department adapted to make the current fire station work, but the time has come to make a commitment to a new facility,” Meyers said. “I am hopeful voters will take the opportunity to learn more about the project and why we feel the new fire station is a necessary step forward for Bath.”

Bath residents will cast their vote on Election Day, Nov. 8.

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