New Paltz Seeks to Build New Fire Stations

The Town and Village of New Paltz are looking to build two new fire stations in an effort to expand coverage on both sides of the Wallkill River. The project is part of a two-year-long plan spurred by recovery from Tropical Storms Lee and Irene in 2011.
The fire stations, projected to cost $7.850 million, will be paid for in part by funds from NY Rising, a community reconstruction project which has provided recovery funding for municipalities affected by Lee and Irene.
The Town and Village initially received $6 million from the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR) as part of NY Rising efforts. Of the initial funds, $5.43 million remain, which will be used in the construction of the stations.
“Anything purchased [with NY Rising money] has to be a fixed asset,” said Village Mayor Tim Rogers. “It can’t be anything mobile.”
Construction is expected to take place near the water treatment plant on Mountain Rest Road and on the corner of Henry W. Dubois Drive and N. Putt Corners Road. The former will act as a satellite station to be used for emergency purposes (West Station), while the latter (East Station) currently acts as a substation for housing some of the department’s nine-apparatus fleet. The two stations would help to provide coverage on both sides of the Wallkill River in the case of an emergency. Construction of the satellite station is expected to relieve stress on the fire department and its volunteers during such emergencies.
“What the firemen have done in the past is sleep in their trucks or at the station and wait in the case of an emergency,” Rogers said. “It’s one thing to ask volunteer firefighters to wake up in the middle of the night, it’s another to ask them to sleep in trucks.”
The new stations will be used to house eight trucks, with four double bays at the main station on Henry W. Dubois Drive and N. Putt Corners Road, owned by the Town and Village in addition to other emergency response vehicles. The New Paltz Fire Department (NPFD) currently operates out of the fire station on Plattekill Ave., a three-bay station which typically houses four trucks. Rogers said that the lack of proper space has led to damage on fire trucks in the past. Construction of the new stations will also mean phasing out the older buildings, including Fire Station 2.
The task of designing the stations has been assigned to Pacheco Ross Architects, a GOSR identified firm. The firm has provided the Town and Village with estimated costs of $6.1 million and $1.75 million for the East and West stations, respectively.
“There’s no fat at all,” Rogers said. “They’re lean and efficient stations providing exactly what we need. They’re no clubhouses.”
Funds provided by GOSR must be used by Fall 2019, making the project pertinent on the agendas of both the Town and Village. Both entities are looking to the State to cover the remaining costs via grants from Sen. John Bonacic’s office as well as grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. If the applications are denied, they will look to borrow money to complete the project in time. Beyond finances, Rogers sees no complications in the construction of the stations.
“We’ve been discussing it going on two years now,” Rogers said. “The board is very supportive of this project.”