Naples nails money-saving updates

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — The Town of Naples will take advantage of free labor for painting the Naples Fire Station and the gymnasium of the Town Hall.

Town Manager Ephrem Paraschak said a painting crew from the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office work release program will save the town thousands of dollars.

The cost of paint will be the only bill that lands on Paraschak’s desk for those improvements to town-owned buildings.

“The goal is to paint the entire fire station,” he said.

Plus, aggressive rebates from Efficiency Maine will reduce the town’s cost of installing energy-efficient light fixtures and longer-lasting bulbs, he said.

He estimated that one $350 light fixture for the town gym will only cost $50 with the rebates being offered.

“The fire station light bill is $11,000 a year,” he said, adding the installation of energy-saving lighting would lower that bill substantially.

The Naples Board of Selectmen approved the projects, voting to use fire and rescue department reserves to pay for the fire station’s new light fixtures.

The rescue department will also receive a second boat for emergencies on the water.

Paraschak purchased the boat from the surplus equipment of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The boat is a rigid inflatable, which is part fiberglass and comes with a motor, he said. It was purchased for “next to nothing,” he said.

The only catch is: It is in Virginia, and the town is responsible for transporting it to Maine. However, Paraschak has been coordinating with local marinas that make trips south before the boating season.

Recently, the town installed an Ice Eater next to the public dock on the Causeway.

“There was about 20 inches of ice” on Long Lake, he said. But, since the installation of the Ice Eater, there is open water.

The Ice Eater works with a steel fan that breaks up existing ice and creates warmer currents on the lake bottom. A similar devise was used last winter when the Songo River Queen II was stranded at dockside because of shallow water in the autumn.

“It keeps the water moving,” Paraschak said.

“When the ice goes out in the spring, it can take out or break the wooden pilings,” he said.

“That little investment can save money,” he said.


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