HARWICH – The old East Harwich fire station will be taken down by late September.
There were plans to leave the old station in place after the new one is finished in mid to late September so that it could be used by the contractor on the East Harwich wastewater project, but those plans have changed.
“That was the plan until about an hour ago,” Fire Chief Norman Clarke, Jr said on Thursday.
Clarke stated in the non-resident taxpayers meeting two weeks ago officials were planning to retain the station for use by the Robert B. Our Company during the wastewater construction project, which began Monday in East Harwich. The project is expected to take two years.
The Our Company was looking for a place to locate trailers for the field engineers to work from and to store construction materials, so Clarke recommended using the old fire station.
“I thought it was a good idea,” Clarke said.
But the Our Company has rented the recently vacated physical therapy office across Route 137 from the fire station for its field engineers to work from. It will still need a location to store pipes, sand and machinery, so once the old fire station is removed, about an acre and a half can be made available on the three-acre parcel for storage.
Town Administrator Christopher Clark said the Our Company has also made arrangements with Paul Cuddy, who owns the sand pits just north of Route 39 near the intersection of Routes 39 and 137, to lease the area for the construction firm's primary staging area for pipes and other materials.
The site was used over the past couple of years as the staging area for R.H. White Company, which placed the new gas lines under roadways through sections of the town for National Grid. Clark said the Our Company will also use the old fire station location, once the structure is removed, for storage of equipment and materials.
With the wastewater construction project underway as of Aug. 19, Clarke said the Our Company could store materials at its Great Western Road site initially, but time is money so the closer they are to the construction project, the better off they will be. Using the town land for storage could also save the town money, Clark said.
Chief Clarke said the new station was to be complete by the end of August, but the project was delayed 13 weeks early on because of a steel union protest. But it was a good winter and the contractor has pushed to get the job completed by mid to late September. The old station can be taken down at that point.
The Our Company is the site contractor for the new fire station, Clarke said, and removal of the old station is part of the agreement with the firm.