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Lake towns consider reopening fire station

SANBORNTON - The selectmen are hoping to reopen negotiations with their counterparts in Belmont, Tilton and Northfield to see of the former Winnisquam Fire Station could become a fire station again.

The station, which was run privately, is located in Sanbornton. It served sections of the towns near Lake Winnisquam and was closed in 2006.

Tilton-Northfield Fire Chief Brad Ober and Belmont Fire Chief Dave Parenti began discussing the idea of reopening the fire station with Sanbornton, if the towns involved would agree to fund it.

If a fire or rescue call comes from the Tilton portion of the Winnisquam area, "it can take us five or six minutes to get there, sometimes much longer when there's traffic (on Route 3)," Ober said.

The chiefs came up with several options for staffing the station.

"Chief Parenti and I were thinking we could staff it with parts of other departments, or with call firefighters," he said.

But earlier this month, when the idea came before the Sanbornton selectmen, they initially expressed no interest in the idea. Belmont selectmen decided to drop the idea at that point, Ober said.

Since then, though, the selectmen have heard from residents "from all parts of town" who would like the town to consider the idea of participating in the Winnisquam Station plan, said Sanbornton Selectman Dave Nickerson.

Selectmen instructed town officials to send a letter to the Belmont selectmen asking them to share information about the idea.

Belmont officials have not yet responded, Nickerson said.

"We want to see what's on the table," Nickerson said. "We'll see if Belmont wants to talk to us again."

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