HOPE, Maine — It takes a village to raise a child, goes the African proverb. In Hope, it is literally taking a village to raise the town’s new fire station.
Construction on the roughly $450,000 project began May 6, after what Fire Chief Clarence Keller termed an eight-year effort to get the project off the ground.
Part of the terms was that the fire department fundraising committee promised to raise $110,000, the chief said.
“It’s happening, the ground is broken, and we have $86,000 in our fundraising effort,” he wrote to all of the town’s taxpayers a month ago. Since then, the amount raised has inched up to $96,000, and an anonymous donor has pledged to match up to $12,000 more — but the offer is good only until the end of the month.
“We’d like to encourage everybody to push us over the top,” Keller said.
The new fire station on Route 105 should be completed by the end of September and will help the town and the 20-member squad of volunteer firefighters, the chief said. It will have the apparatus bay to safely house the department’s equipment, a meeting room, and even running water and a bathroom, which the old station didn’t have.
“This is a huge step forward,” Keller said. “It brings it up to the 21st century.”
For information or to make a contribution to the fire station, call Chief Keller at 542-2694. Donations also can be mailed to the Hope Fire Station Building Fund, 6 Hatchet Mountain Road, Hope 04847.