January 28, 2021

Fire station fund drive heats up> Irving Tanning donates land as challenge to Hartland department

HARTLAND — Pledges of cash and labor are being accepted in Hartland for the construction of a new fire station.

Fire Chief Les Goforth said the department hopes to begin construction by midsummer in the form of an “old-fashioned barn raising.”

“We’d like to have it ready to house our trucks by fall and finish it within a year,” he said in an interview Thursday. “We’ve just outgrown the station we have.”

Goforth also pointed out the location of the current station poses problems for the department.

“It’s virtually inaccessible,” he said. “And the store [on the opposite corner] is very busy.”

Trying to correct the problems and relieve the congestion at the site during a fire call, the department accepted a challenge from Irving Tanning Co. The local company, Hartland’s largest employer, donated 1.2 acres on Canaan Road along with $100,000 toward the project, and a challenge to the department to match the funds.

Donations are coming in as cash, labor, food and other in-kind services. Goforth said that from an initial mailing to local residents and taxpayers, the project has raised about $10,000. He also said in-kind donations for labor could easily double that amount.

The new building will be wood construction with steel siding and roofing, 76 by 60 feet. A meeting room 30 by 32 feet will be built on one side. The rear 20 feet of the structure will house utility space, storage, an office and a kitchen. The new station will accommodate five trucks, where the current station houses four.

The new building will be located across the street from the Masonic Hall.

To date, groundwork and site preparation has been donated. Water line installation will be donated by Consumers Maine Water, the local water provider. The Hartland Helping Hands group has pledged a $5,000 donation and a barbecue to feed the participating workers. And Goforth’s company will construct the cabinets, he said, to keep costs down. The department’s own crew of 35 members will provide most of the labor, but that too will be supplemented by firefighters from other towns. Neighboring St. Albans was the first department to donate 10 men for 10 hours.

Individual donations range from a few dollars to a $2,000 memorial donation by some former Hartland residents.

“We had one lady give $100. I thought that was quite something considering she’s on a fixed income,” Goforth said.

A number of fund-raisers are being discussed, including a dance and raffle to add to the tally from the first fund drive. Donations are being accepted for the HVFD Building Fund, c/o Bob Jones at Irving Tanning, P.O. Box 400, Hartland 04943. For in-kind donations or more information, contacts include Goforth at 938-4139; Steve Estes 938-4105 or Lindy Humphrey 938-2159

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