Town Meeting tonight has passed a proposal to build at 50 Billerica Road.
The $7.8 million, five-bay station will be built in the town hall's upper parking lot. The plan also includes renovations to some town office space to put the fire station's administrative offices and fire prevention in that buildling.
After Town Moderator Richard Defreitas declared the fire station as passing by 2/3 vote, rep Bob Joyce requested a roll-call vote from each of the town meeting reps so residents would know how their reps voted.
110 Town Meeting Reps voted yes, 41 voted no.
In the town election, voters passed a non-binding
"This is where we are after five years," said Pat Maloney, chairman of the Permanent Building Committee. " ... There is no perfect site. This is the latest proposal we came up with. It's been a goal of the Board of Selectmen for several years now to get something done."
Paul Ericson of precicnt five said he lives near the South Chelmsford Fire Station and firefighters have been good neighbors.
Ericson said the fire trucks leave the station and wait until they turn the corner to use their lights and sirens.
Matt Besonen, a resident of Billerica Road, said his neighborhood has come together to fight the fire station.
"There is general confusion on this," he said. "Most people we talked to, even town reps here, are confused ... We want a fire station, but this five-bay fire station does not fit in this residential area ... We are here to protect our neighborhoods. We have come together as a neighborhood to ask that you stop this vote."
Jim Pinder said he is opposed to the station.
"There is a sense of urgency here, we need to move on this at some point ... I have examined the fire station documents, the focus has been on everything but the right thing," he said. "A lot of selling has been taking place but from an engineering perspective ... this isn't just any fire station. This is unlike any of the four other stations ... It will be busy at all times. Is this the right place for this new fire station? I think the answer is no. Not at this point in time."
Stefani Bush said she understands the nearby residents don't want the fire station, but the town would run into a similar problem anywhere it puts a fire station.
"In the late 1980s there was a need for a fire station to be renovated and it was not done. It has been brought up over and over again and it has been tabled over and over again. Other facilities have been maintained and put in the forefront," she said. "We are at a position where every single precinct except precicnt three voted for us to move forward and had this been a binding vote it would have held no matter what. The majority was we would move forward as Town Meeting Representatives ... If this doesn't go through tonight, we are putting it back on the backburner."
Now, the town will hire an owner's project manager to oversee the project.
A debt exclusion proposal for a new fire station on was .