Hope firefighters prepare for pre-Christmas move

The Hope Volunteer Fire Department could be getting an early Christmas present.

Pending final inspections, the firefighters should be moving into their new fire station on Aiken Street this week. Ed Johnson, who has been shepherding the project through the system, says that while the station isn’t complete, it is ready for use.

“The building will not be 100 percent complete, but the safety features and everything that needs to be there in place to protect members and the fire department itself will be completed,” Johnson said.

For example, he said the building will still need carpet.

The project has been delayed for years, hampered by financial problems.

“It has been a long, overdue period for the fire department to get into that building and it is a much-needed change for them,” Johnson said.

“Hopefully it will spur a lot more interest in the fire department and show the community that the fire department is well-grounded in the community.”

The curent fire station just off the Town Square is an aging structure and has a long history with previous uses as a stable and a telephone switching station. Firefighters began construction on the new building several years ago, but ran into problems with cost overruns and a lawsuit with its contractor.

The final inspection is set for this week, Johnson sold the Hope Town Council at their meeting last night.