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Bow fire station, community center cited for code violations for second time

  • Fulltime Bow firefighter, Keith Lambert, directs an engine back in to the bay at the Bow Fire Station after responding to a call on Friday, August 9, 2013. The New Hampshire State Fire Marshall cited the Bow Community Building and attached fire station for code violations in July, calling for the town to bring the building to compliance by 2016. The town voted against renovations during the last town hall.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    Fulltime Bow firefighter, Keith Lambert, directs an engine back in to the bay at the Bow Fire Station after responding to a call on Friday, August 9, 2013. The New Hampshire State Fire Marshall cited the Bow Community Building and attached fire station for code violations in July, calling for the town to bring the building to compliance by 2016. The town voted against renovations during the last town hall.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • From left, Bow volunteer firefighters, Greg Brown and David Eastman, meet at the fire station after responding to a call on Friday, August 9, 2013. The New Hampshire State Fire Marshall cited the Bow Community Building and attached fire station for code violations in July, calling for the town to bring the building to compliance by 2016. The town voted against renovations during the last town hall.<br/><br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    From left, Bow volunteer firefighters, Greg Brown and David Eastman, meet at the fire station after responding to a call on Friday, August 9, 2013. The New Hampshire State Fire Marshall cited the Bow Community Building and attached fire station for code violations in July, calling for the town to bring the building to compliance by 2016. The town voted against renovations during the last town hall.


    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • Bow Fire on Friday, August 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    Bow Fire on Friday, August 9, 2013.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • Fulltime Bow firefighter, Keith Lambert, directs an engine back in to the bay at the Bow Fire Station after responding to a call on Friday, August 9, 2013. The New Hampshire State Fire Marshall cited the Bow Community Building and attached fire station for code violations in July, calling for the town to bring the building to compliance by 2016. The town voted against renovations during the last town hall.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
  • From left, Bow volunteer firefighters, Greg Brown and David Eastman, meet at the fire station after responding to a call on Friday, August 9, 2013. The New Hampshire State Fire Marshall cited the Bow Community Building and attached fire station for code violations in July, calling for the town to bring the building to compliance by 2016. The town voted against renovations during the last town hall.<br/><br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
  • Bow Fire on Friday, August 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

The fire station and community space in Bow is dangerously out-of-date, a preliminary state fire inspection has found, renewing calls for action and providing fresh evidence of what officials say they have long known or suspected.

The inspection, conducted in May and referenced last month in a letter to the town from the Division of Fire Safety, cites an array of code infractions, including: the absence of a fire alarm; inadequate exit signs and emergency lighting; noncompliant electrical wiring, interior finish and stairs; an insufficient kitchen exhaust system; a leaking waste line; and unsafe living quarters.

The state has also required the town to commission a certified fire-safety engineer to complete a more comprehensive analysis of the building’s current state, according to the letter from state Fire Investigator William Clark.

“What we got back from the (state fire marshal’s office), this is not a list of everything that is wrong,” said Jack Crisp, chairman of the Bow board of selectmen. “You’re talking about a lot of things.”

Crisp said the town has begun soliciting bids from engineers, and plans to obtain an estimate on how much it would cost to update the facility, located at the corner of Knox and Bow Center roads.

The nearly 60-year-old building has been cited before for unsafe conditions. But in 2006, town officials requested a deadline extension on completing certain mandated renovations, reasoning that the community was considering whether to build a new safety facility. The extension eventually expired, but by 2008 voters had appropriated $25,000 to design a new facility, furthering the prospect that it could be built.

That design, which cost more than $240,000 to develop, was finalized this year but fell 46 votes shy of passing at town meeting in March.

Now, with the future of a new facility in limbo, the state has revived its earlier mandate.

One of the first priorities it has called for is a safer living area for firefighters on overnight duty. According to Clark’s letter, the town must either update the current living space or build a new one that meets existing regulations, including proper wall divisions, building exits and smoke alarms, by Nov. 1.

Crisp said selectmen could approve certain renovations, but will need approval from voters if they become expensive. Planners have obtained rough estimates in the past of what it would cost to update the facility, and those have ranged in the couple of million dollars, he noted. He and others have said they believe it makes more sense to spend the town’s resources on a new building rather than trying to salvage the one there now.

“I think the entire board feels the existing building is not worth the investment to bring it up to date, and that was our recommendation to the town,” Crisp said. “But at the end of the day, it’s the town’s decision.”

The defeated design has yet to be tossed out altogether. Town Manager David Stack said a committee, which includes himself, has continued to meet and work with engineers on ways to whittle down the project’s estimated $7.7 million price tag, be it through shrinking the size of the building, relocating certain rooms or some other means. An updated proposal will go before voters at next year’s town meeting, Stack said.

Crisp said he hasn’t given up on the plans, and hopes with time and through better education those who have been less involved with the planning process will see the project’s advantages.

“For those of us who’ve been living with it for four or five years, it makes sense,” he said. “For those who just come to town meeting and vote on it, I can understand their reservations.”

Whatever the fate of the new facility, the need to rectify conditions remains apparent, perhaps as evidenced last week when someone flipped a light switch and began to hear a crackling sound, Stack said. The insulation around a series of wires had apparently overheated.

(Jeremy Blackman can be reached at 369-3319,
jblackman@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @JBlackmanCM.)

??? I wonder if the Bow code enforcement person went to a persons home, cited the same violations, but then let it slide if the homeowner told him.."yeah I know, but, I'm currently taking bids on building a new home, just give me one of those "extensions" please!"....This tactic of letting the current town buildings violate code violations because well, we want a new one, should result is someone being fired.

You can buy a three level, 6 bed, 7.5 bath, 11,500 sq/ft home, 270 foot frontage on Lake Winnipesaukee, sandy beach, a double u-shaped dock with a canopy, spacious waterside decking, spacious main level master suite, dual offices and a phenomenal Great Room for less than $7.5M. If I lived in Bow I would question it it too, just how elaborate is this building? What am I saying, I'm sure Bow will be asking the State and Federal government for grant money so I will be paying too.

Something is WAYYY out of whack here...http://www.beangroup.com/homes/NH/Gilford/03249/10_Foxborough_Dr/2134087077/#....??? PRICE REDUCED $500,000!! Welcome to the top of the world. This is the ultimate in privacy, serenity and elegance. Incredibly beautiful, this Craftsman Mission Style home exudes warmth, texture and detail throughout. You will be mesmerized by the sweeping views of the valley and hamlets below as well as the lakes and mountains beyond. Indoor pool, theatre room, 11 fireplaces, 4 bay heated garage w/ studio above. Yankee post & beam barn guest house also included on this 194 acre extraordinary parcel.....All this for less than $4 million. Good luck Bow.

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