The Fire Station II Building Committee had its first meeting on April 5 at the Comstock Community Center.

Richard McCarty was elected chairman, and David Waters and Ross Tartell will share the responsibility of recording secretary.

Director of Facilities and Energy Management Chris Burney, a non-voting member of the committee, told The Bulletin “the general feeling was, let’s think outside the box.”

As committee members revisit a statement of requirements for the project produced back in July, they’ll be considering project alternatives as well.

“We have in the budget $90,000 to do the study and the design. My guess is that will probably take the rest of the year,” Burney said.

“The [fire] chief is going to be talking to the surrounding towns to see if there’s any interest in perhaps creating a shared facility that wouldn’t necessarily be where this one is,” he said.

One of the most pressing issues the building committee will have to confront while determining if the project is actually feasible as constituted in the statement of requirements is the lack of potable water at the current site. FIre Station II has relied on delivered tank water for two years.

The July statement of requirements say, “This renovation may hinge on finding potable water and getting it to the building or a complete overhaul of the existing well.”

The other big unknown is the true capacity of the current septic system — an engineered septic system. It’s a question of what will happen if more firefighters are added into that mix.

“The property has experienced severe septic system issues as a result of the size of the parcel and extent of bedrock, and is currently served by an engineered system,” the building committee’s draft meeting minutes say.

“I’m going to work with the director of health to see what we can do to establish definitive capacity,” Burney told The Bulletin.

The Fire Station II Building Committee agreed to hold its next meeting on April 19 at 7:30 p.m., location pending. Members opted not to adopt a calendar of future dates at this time.