Construction on new Greenville Public Safety Building to start this spring

Published: Jan. 5, 2023 at 5:10 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, Maine (WABI) - Greenville will soon have a new public safety building with help from congressional funding.

$900,000 for the project was included in a bill passed last month.

The new building will combine the fire and police departments.

“We’re hoping to build a building to have it set up for the future, and that’s what we’re going into it thinking,” said Greenville Fire Chief, Sawyer Murray.

More than 20 firefighters make up the Greenville Fire Department.

They are dedicated to serving not just the town of Greenville, but all surrounding towns as part of a Mutual Aid Agreement.

It’s common for them to have to travel more than an hour to a call.

“We really only go about 15 minutes south to Monson, but when we go north, we go up to the Golden Road, and even north of the Golden Road to stuff like log truck accidents and snowmobile accidents,” he said.

The department just wrapped up their busiest year on record - tripling their calls from 2017.

Over the past three years, they have been developing plans for a new public safety building.

Greenville voters approved that bond issue allowing the department to replace their outdated space.

“We’re working to finalize the business plan and hopefully get started in March,” said Murray.

The new building will be built at the site of the fire station on Minden Street.

Fire Chief Sawyer Murray says there are several issues with the current building.

There is no hot water, showers, and there is only one restroom.

There is also little lighting, and their gear is often exposed to diesel exhaust.

“Right now, our gear is right behind two trucks, so if we start the trucks, the gear is soaking up all the exhaust and that’s going to be a huge thing to have an exhaust system and vent that out,” he explained.

The police department, currently housed across the street in the town office will be joining them in the new building.

“They’re going to have three different bays. Right now, they do not have any bays. They park their vehicles outside, so they are always running them in the winter to keep them brushed off and such,” Murray said.

Like the fire department, the police department has received an uptick in calls.

The new public safety building will provide them more space to conduct their work.

“I work for the police department reserve status. I remember last fall, we had a drug arrest. We brought in three people. Usually we bring them into the town office meeting hall to do interviews. They had a selectmen’s meeting going on during that time. So, we brought three people in, but didn’t realize it, and we had three people try and go into the selectmen’s meeting. They gave us some funny looks and said we can’t use that room. We ended up putting one person in the town manager’s office, one in the code enforcement office, and one in the police department, so that’s going to be huge for them,” he said. “This is one step in the right direction for emergency services that are getting busier, and hopefully, we’re going to be set up for the future when we have to answer more calls more frequently.”