Plans to construct a brand new station for the New Paltz Volunteer Fire Department (NPVFD) are underway according to New Paltz officials.
The new building will be located at the intersection of Henry W. Dubois Drive and North Putt Corners road. According to Mayor Tim Rogers, the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York recommended the facility’s construction. Its projected cost lies somewhere between six and seven million dollars. The Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR) allocated a total of $5 million between the town and village for the project.
According to a GOSR document regarding the project, “The Plattekill Avenue primary firehouse is undersized and located in a precarious position adjacent to the Village’s commercial core…this area was not designed to accommodate modern vehicular traffic, including delivery trucks or large fire trucks.”
“The proposed project would mitigate the loss of human life and the ability for emergency responders to respond to service calls in a timely fashion,” the document said. “It would also allow for emergency responders to be more centrally located to the bulk of their consumers with easier access to the New York State Thruway and SUNY New Paltz campus.”
The other one to two million dollars needed for this project will come out of normal village and town funds. While Mayor Rogers hopes that the cost won’t cause an increase in taxes for residents, he acknowledges the necessity of the building regardless.
“This is the function of local government,” Rogers said. “Money spent on fire stations and rescue equipment is a regular expense for the village.”
The NPVFD consists of roughly 35 volunteer firefighters, who respond to anywhere from 650 to 750 calls annually including fire alarms, car accidents, and housefires. New Paltz Fire Chief Cory Wirthmann discussed the necessity of development in the department.
“We’ve outgrown our current situation and need to evolve, just like the town and schools,” Wirthmann said. “We will have a quality and efficient working facility for our team of firefighters.”
The current fire station is located next to the town courthouse with three bay doors that store four of the department’s seven firetrucks. The new facility will include 10 bay doors, with ample room for all trucks and other special equipment, like the UTV and boat.
Additionally, the building will be designated at an Emergency Operation Center for New Paltz. It will be used to carry out emergency preparedness training and general disaster relief for the village, town, college and the local part of the thruway.
Rogers expects that the official design documents for the project will be finished and reviewed by fire officials this month. Later in the fall, bidding for the project will go public to contractors. If all goes as planned, the project will be underway by spring of 2019.
“We’re all very proud to be firemen,” Wirthman said. “Now we will have a new firehouse that we can also be proud of.”