Village Board approves Stillwater firehouse repair engineering study

fire vehicleThe village has authorized its engineering firm to put a plan together for making needed structural repairs to its aging firehouse at Village Hall.

The wood and brick building’s walls and ceilings are “sagging” in areas and need to be reinforced. The village recently hired a carpenter to “open up” sections of the building so its “insides” could be inspected by a structural engineer.

During a report to the Board of Trustees July 17, Trustee John Basile said the building has “dropped” several inches and is no longer level. The two-bay facility houses the village fire trucks for Newland-Wood Fire Company 59. The department celebrated its 150th anniversary in the fall of 2015.

The village board has authorized paying its engineering firm, Adirondack Mountain Engineering, up to $6,800 to prepare a design for structural improvements to the building. This will involve preparing drawings for the structural reinforcement of the existing wood framed structure within the garage area. The improvements are anticipated to include the replacement of the existing wood girders with the addition of new support columns.

The improvements will also include framing plans for second floor structural modifications necessary to support the overhead partition walls. Options for addressing the existing floor levels will include the installation of shims and/or the replacement of the existing floor joists with new beams.

The engineering plans should take about 30 days to complete. The next step would be for the village to solicit bids from contractors to complete the structural improvements. The repair costs are unknown at this time, Basile said, but it would be cheaper than building a new firehouse.

In other business July 17:

  • The board appointed Trustee Judy Wood-Zeno as the village’s 911 coordinator and a member of the fire department’s fire police.
  • Trustee Basile reported that a global energy company will most likely not be leasing space at the former water treatment plant to house a large battery to help supplement the NYSEG power grid serving Stillwater electric customers. A German-based company called E-ON presented the plans to the village board in April but further studies have revealed that the Ferry Lane location will no longer fit the company’s needs. E-ON is now looking a private land on Hudson Avenue to house the large battery, Basile said.
  • Trustee Judith Wood-Shaw reported that she and the Town of Stillwater submitted a formal request to the Capital District Transportation Authority to bring CDTA public bus service to Stillwater. The CDTA planning staff is looking into the proposal, she said.
  • The village Parks and Recreation Committee continues to move forward on plans to upgrade facilities at the American Legion fields. Trustee Wood-Zeno said she discussed possible artwork for the Project Backboard initiative at the old basketball courts with the Stillwater Schools art department. Student will submit new artwork when school resumes in the fall, she said, and the committee is hoping for an April or May 2019 groundbreaking. Trustee Wood-Shaw said she received one quote from a Greenwich company to install a water splash pad there for about $26,000. An outdoor pickle ball court is also in the plans. The committee is hoping to receive state grant monies to help fund the park improvements.
  • Village Engineer Ed Hernandez reported that demolition of the existing Hillside Avenue water tank is scheduled to begin in early August. The water tank needs major repairs and instead will be replaced with a new glass-lined tank. Staff will be coordinating with the village Department of Public Works to take the tank out of service once the demolition contractor begins work. Site work including new piping and removal of the existing foundation will begin shortly after the removal of the existing tank. A formal construction schedule has been requested.