June 24, 2018
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With its fire department gone, Burlington seeks Lincoln’s help

By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff

LINCOLN, Maine — Burlington will continue to receive fire protection, possibly until April, from Lincoln firefighters thanks to an agreement the council is allowing town officials to pursue.

The council voted 7-0 on Monday to permit Town Manager Lisa Goodwin to negotiate an agreement with Burlington now that that community’s Triangle Fire Department has at least temporarily ceased to exist. The volunteer department apparently folded because of a lack of membership about a week ago.

“I am grateful to the Town Council for [its vote],” Burlington Selectwoman Beth Turner said Monday.

At no time did or will Burlington lack fire service, Turner said. The Lincoln Fire Department, which had a mutual aid agreement with Triangle, already has handled one call in Burlington, a chimney fire on Ridge Road, Lincoln Fire Chief Phil Dawson said.

But that agreement automatically terminated when Triangle folded. Lincoln firefighters got to the fire on Ridge Road before they realized that Triangle would not be there, Dawson said.

Under the proposed contract, Burlington will pay $4,528.76 for two months of service, Goodwin said. Town firefighters will cover Burlington until its residents approve or reject the deal.

Burlington will hold a special town meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 18, at its town office to consider the contract, Turner said.

Under the contract, Lincoln residents have first rights to service. Town firefighters can refuse to take or delay responding to Burlington emergencies if they are handling incidents in town, Goodwin said. Dawson said he was unsure what options Burlington would have if that occurs.

It should take Lincoln firefighters about 15 minutes to get from their station on Adams Street to the center of Burlington, Dawson said. He believed that town trucks can negotiate most roads and areas of Burlington, although many of its arteries are seasonal camp roads.

“A lot of the travel will depend on weather conditions,” Dawson said. “There may be roads that we cannot get down, but where most of the population is, we should be able to address.”

Burlington residents will decide at their annual town meeting in March whether to revive Triangle, continue the town’s contract with Lincoln or create their own municipal fire department, Turner said.

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