Guilford’s fire station needs paint

Fire department treasurer: ‘It should have lasted longer, but it hasn’t’

GUILFORD — Since its construction in 2005, the Guilford Volunteer Fire Department facility has been readily identified by its unique paint color: sky blue.

Now, earlier than expected, the wall and floor have begun peeling and the fire department board has begun budgeting to repaint.

Three representatives from the fire department met with the Guilford Selectboard on Nov. 19 to discuss the project.

Starting with a blank canvas, with the exception of some fixed price items, fire department treasurer Neil Quinn, along with the other members of the fire department board, centered much of their fiscal year 2013-2014 budget on the repainting.

Of the $11,000 building maintenance budget for fiscal year 2013-2014, $6,000 is set for the repainting, and the remaining will be set aside for general maintenance.

“[The repainting] needs to be done for sure,” Quinn said. “It's been about six years - the building's not going to fall apart if we don't do it, but as with any deferred maintenance, things deteriorate.”

The original paint used was made by Sherwin-Williams, and the fire department was told at the time that it would last “significantly longer” than most paints.

“It should have lasted longer but it hasn't. As you put it off, it'll cost more in the future” Quinn said. “It's unfortunate, but it's the reality.”

Planning for the 2013-2014 fire department budget began in October, and most budget plans were finalized at their follow-up meeting Nov. 15. Firefighting equipment budgets were cut well back, and Quinn said he hoped that some equipment grants would come through in the near future, although he acknowledged that areas seriously damaged by Tropical Storm Irene have taken priority for such grants.

The fire department then contacted several professional painters in the area, who provided estimates for supplies and labor totaling $12,000 to $18,000. As the paint is not yet peeling in earnest, little to no scraping will be needed, unless the color will be changed.

An additional $6,000 would have to be added to the budget if the department color was to be changed as well, due to the additional coats of paint needed.

The department representatives said a traditional deep red is not recommended, citing that color's expected rapid fading in sunlight, and anticipated increased costs.

Local painter John Chichlowski was also contacted, and he offered to defer payment for his labor over two fiscal years.

Quinn suggested to the Selectboard that they look into purchasing the paint and painting supplies through the town, as they may be able to get a better price, and also said volunteers might be found to help paint portions of the building.

Supporting the plans for repainting were Selectboard members Anne Rider, Troy Revis, and Richard Clark.

“In light of those economizing efforts it seems like a good idea to me, although it's unfortunate that the paint hasn't lasted as long as it was supposed to,” Rider said.

The fire department hopes to begin repainting as early as July 1, 2013, the start of the new fiscal year.

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