Bridgton Selectmen notes: Fire Chief Garland steps down after 11 years

Fire Chief Glen Garland

Fire Chief Glen Garland

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

For the past 11 years, Glenn Garland has answered the call to duty.

He answered his final call as Bridgton’s fire chief on Thursday, Sept. 29. Selectmen honored Garland for his service and dedication to firefighting at the start of Tuesday’s board meeting. Chairman Greg Watkins spoke of Garland’s knowledge, leadership and his ability to bring people together.

“Glenn Garland is an example of a public servant who has selflessly contributed to Bridgton through years of hard work, experience and dependability,” Watkins said. “Countless times, he has put himself in harm’s way in order to protect others.”

Watkins said Garland strengthened the Bridgton Fire Department with his leadership and successfully guided the group through the “tedious transition of local to county dispatching services.” He was instrumental in the creation and implementation of both the Fire Protection Ordinance and the position of fire inspector. Garland also led the move to restructure the department’s leadership and duties.

“His fostering of camaraderie has led to a group of brothers and sisters on the department that respect him and admire him,” Watkins added.

Watkins cited comments made about Garland by fellow firefighters on social media: “Many know that volunteer firefighters are dedicated and hardworking. Over the past 11 years, Chief Glenn Garland has built a great team. He has shown us that teamwork, respect and trust is what makes a department function to its fullest potential. With that being said, as he is relinquishing his position, we sincerely want to thank Chief Garland for his contributions to the Bridgton community and to our department.”

Watkins concluded, “In reading the comments and well wishes to Glenn as he opens a new chapter of his life, it quickly became apparent that being a Bridgton firefighter or fire chief was not just a ‘job’ for him, but was a true interest and passion. For this and for his years of service, dedication and leadership, he deserves our respect and our gratitude.”

After being presented a crystal bowl, Garland thanked officials for the honor and extended his appreciation of the support shown by his fellow firefighters.

At their last meeting, selectmen approved Todd Perreault as interim fire chief.

Seeking a Seat: Four candidates are seeking to fill a vacant seat on the board of selectmen. Those looking to replace Paul Hoyt are Jeffrey S. Jones, Robert P. Murphy, Philip M. Tarr and Arthur D. Triglione Sr. The term expires June 2017.

Also on the local ballot are two referendum questions (by citizen’s petition):

Q1. Prohibits consumer fireworks use (does not include fireworks displays, such as the town’s Fourth of July event, approved by the State Fire Marshal).

Q2. Should the Bridgton Farmers’ Market be allowed to set up on the Depot Street green beginning May 2017?

Renewal still on table: Selectmen again tabled action on a renewal of a automotive graveyard/junkyard license to Powerhouse Salvage Sales (located at 11 Powerhouse Road) until their Nov. 8 meeting.

Powerhouse Salvage’s permit expired Oct. 1.

Code Enforcement Officer Robbie Baker told selectmen he has been unsuccessful in setting up an inspection of the site with owner Paul Gallinari.

“I’ve tried a couple of times knocking on doors but have been unable to reach him (Gallinari),” Baker said.

At the Sept. 27 meeting, selectmen heard concerns expressed by resident David Martin regarding whether Powerhouse Salvage and Ovide’s Used Cars were in compliance with state laws. Martin also questioned whether Powerhouse Salvage was actually being operated as a “salvage” yard.

Selectmen approved Ovide’s license renewal by a 4–1 vote (Paul Hoyt was opposed, feeling both requests should be tabled until the CEO inspected both businesses), while tabling action on Powerhouse Salvage by a 5–0 vote.

Morse to return: Bob Morse will return as manager of Salmon Point Campground next season, Peabody announced.

The final day of the campground season is this Saturday, Oct. 15. The town plans to use a county crew to do fall cleanup.

Peabody reported that work at the Woods Pond bathroom facility continues to make progress, as exterior walls are up and roofing is in place. The roof surface will be installed soon. Expected completion is this fall.

Website upgrade: Board Chairman Greg Watkins and Peabody will work together in searching out a firm to redesign the town’s website.

Municipal websites will be checked, along with others, to develop a list of companies to consider.

“Some (companies) are not so great once you get under the hood,” Watkins said. “We need to decide where do we want to go?”

Selectman Bob McHatton said the biggest complaint he has heard is the current site is not user-friendly.

“So, we need to find out why it is not user-friendly and how to make it more interactive,” Watkins said.

Peabody said pricing varies, likely in the $5,000 to $10,000 range.

Once Watkins and Peabody develop a working list of company possibilities, they will e-mail sites those companies have developed to allow selectmen to review them before the item is discussed at the board level.

 

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