Village looking for proposals on possible new firehouse construction

The village continues to discuss what to do about its aging firehouse which is in need of roof and structural repairs, and electrical upgrades estimated to cost more than $100,000.

A structural inspection of the wood and brick building, which houses Newland-Wood Fire Company 59 and attached village offices, was conducted last year and revealed the building’s walls and ceilings are “sagging” in areas and need to be reinforced. The truck bay area has “dropped” several inches and is no longer level, Trustee John Basile told the Village Board last July. The roof is also leaking and the electrical system is outdated and unsafe.

Since then, plans have been drawn to address these issues but given the cost, some Trustees believe the village should at least investigate the feasibility of constructing a new firehouse. The village faces three options, Basile said.

Make the repairs to the existing firehouse and continue to use it. Those repairs would be paid through the village general fund budget.

Tear down the aging building and construct a new firehouse and village offices at their existing location. This would require hiring an architect to design it, finding temporary village offices during construction and moving the fire trucks to the former Department of Public Works building until the new firehouse is ready. This option would be funded through a village loan/debt service.

Construct a new firehouse at a different village location and also finance it through a village loan/debt service. Basile said the village owns land at the DPW garage, behind the former water plant and along the old canal. The village could also look into buying other land if needed for new construction, he said.

“Cost and response time for the department, of course, are all factors,” Basile said.

Another factor to consider is the size of the existing firehouse building, which many on the fire department have argued is too small for today’s duties. The fire trucks, for instance, barely fit in the bays and it’s difficult to maneuver them in and out. The department would also like a radio room and more space for other functions.

Village fire department officers have visited other new fire stations in the area such as the one in Greenwich, which offers four bays and enables trucks to be driven “through” the building with doors on both sides.

While discussions continue, the Village Board passed two resolutions for now to address firehouse matters:

Authorizing up to $6,000 in electrical upgrades at the existing firehouse as a “safety” precaution for the building
Authoring firehouse architects to submit Requests For Proposals (RFPs) for building a new firehouse for the village

In other business March 19, the Stillwater Village Board

  • Set a public hearing date of Tuesday, April 16, at 7 p.m., to consider a minor subdivision application by John LeClaire, the owner of 0.99-plus acres of land at 1223 Hudson Ave. LeClaire is proposing to subdivide the property into two parcels containing 0.50 acres (lot 1) and 0.49 acres (lot 2). The board shall also evaluate any applicable review under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). The hearing shall take place at the Village Hall located at 1 School St. A copy of the application is available at the Village Clerk’s Office. All interested persons wishing to be heard may do so in person or submit written comments.
  • Received an application for a minor subdivision by the BDC Group to construct apartments on South Colonel Avenue. The village engineer and attorney was instructed to review the application for further discussion.
  • Announced they will honor former Village Historian Linda Sanders for her many years of public service at the next Village Board meeting on Tuesday, April 16 at 7 p.m.
  • Set the annual village-side garage sale date for the weekend of May 18-19.