The EG Fire District Board of Commissioners voted Thursday to spend up to $22,000 on a "phase two" study of the land at Post Road and Cedar Avenue they hope will be the site of a new fire station.
The first study, done by digging holes, turned up some items that could point to the site having "significant" Native American artifacts. Further archaeological studies will need to be done before land can be permitted for development.
The second study involves digging trenches with a backhoe.
The Fire District is looking at the parcel of land to build a replacement of Station 1, the Main Street fire station. The Fire District presented the reasoning behind building a new station at a special meeting last Feb. 18 at New England Tech. The main reason to move the station is because most EGFD calls are coming from beyond the downtown area and the only other fire station is located across town on Frenchtown Road.
The state has put a $360,000 price tag on the property.
One reason officials suspect there could be Native American artifacts on the land is because they've found significant artifacts at the Trafalgar apartment complex, which is across Post Road.
If a phase two study turns up significant artifacts and construction was to go forward, the artifacts would need to be retrieved, which could be costly.
Department of Transportation officials told Chief Peter Henrikson because it was a public project, they would try to remove the costs involved with retrieval from the selling price.
The money will come out of the impact fees fund, following a recent expansion in the possible use of that fund.
Commissioners voted 5-0 in support of the phase two study.
"If you’re in for a dime you’re in for a dollar," said Commissioner Mark Schwager before the vote. "If this is the property we’ve identified, then we have to continue."
In other action, the Commissioners voted to approve a $205,928 bid for a new rescue vehicle. The money to pay for the truck will come out of the vehicle replacement fund – half this year, half next. The truck will be delivered 210 days after the order is placed, approximately by August 1.
The new rescue truck will bring the town's rescue vehicles to four. The fourth one, "not in the best of shape," will be saved for times of extra need.