MOUNT DESERT — Voters at the special town meeting Tuesday night approved the creation of a combined fire/EMS department and authorized the town to borrow up to $1 million to renovate the Somesville fire station to provide living quarters and work space for fire and EMS personnel.
Voters also authorized the town to acquire the “assets, liabilities and operations” of the Northeast Harbor Ambulance Service and to accept the ambulance service’s offer to give $135,000 to the fire department to cover salaries and benefits for fire/EMS personal who might be hired before the July 1 start of the town’s new fiscal year.
Also approved by voters were amendments to the Land Use Zoning Ordinance having to do with lot access standards and permitted uses in the Stream Protection District.
There were 101 registered voters at the special town meeting.
All the questions on the warrant were decided by voice vote and all appeared to pass unanimously except for the $1 million bond question. A minority of those present voted “nay.”
One of those who spoke at the meeting said the town didn’t need to renovate both the Somesville and Northeast Harbor fire stations, arguing that the town should have just one centrally located station, possibly in Somesville.
Another voter who spoke criticized the plan to eliminate the community meeting room at the Somesville fire station in order to create living and work space for fire and EMS personnel.