Bangor City Councilors Discuss Closure of Bangor Fire Department Station 5 

A budget workshop will be held in Bangor Thursday night.Bangor City Council Chair Richard Stone proposed a 10 percent cut to the Bangor Fire Department budget.That could result in the closure of Station 5 on the Hogan Road and the elimination of nine positions.Stone says taxpayers can’t afford a property tax increase.”How can you go to these people and say give me more money? They’re trying to make ends meet as it is.”But some don’t agree.”When somebody has to pay a few more dollars in property taxes every year just to keep the services they have here in the city of Bangor, whether it be fire or police, I don’t think they mind doing it.”Ron Green, President of the local firefighters union, says there are currently enough calls that it’s not uncommon to have all three ambulances and at least two of the engines tied up at one time.”So we would have no resources left at all to cover any other calls that would come up in the city.”City Councilor Hal Wheeler is opposed to closing Station 5. He’s concerned about added response time.”If the only ambulance available were at Central Station and someone needed immediate emergency medical attention at the Bangor Mall or at one of the automobile dealers, the added response time of 5 to 10 minutes could mean the difference between life and death.”Green says relying on mutual aid from other towns is not a solution.”The fact of the matter is if we don’t have the resources to send to Orono, Hermon or Brewer. They’re not going to be able to send anything our way either.”Stone says no one wants to close Station 5, but they have to talk about the possibility.”When somebody is asked to cut their budget over 4-hundred-thousand dollars it helps focus the conversation.”Stone expects each councilor to form their own opinion after Thursday’s meeting.There will be a meeting for public input on the issues on Wednesday, June 2nd at the Doughty School on Fifth Street in Bangor at 6 pm.