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Westmere makes case for new firehouse

Keimer was followed by Richard A. Campagnola, principle architect from CT Male. Campagnola said that when the current firehouse was built, there was no building code.

He said the current building suffers "a tremendous amount of heat loss," and that through a partner ship with NYSERDA, the new firehouse will be 25-35 percent more energy efficient.

The truck bay doors will also be expanded to 14 feet so that they will be able to accommodate larger fire trucks.

"Typically, now, we are designing firehouses with 14-foot-by-14-foot doors," said Campagnola.

One of the concerns raised by the public at the meeting was that the planned cost for the project as presented at the meeting was about $6.6 million. However, the brochure released by the department in January places the total at $5.74 million.

"The original brochure was basically phase two of the project," said Fire Commissioner Tom Remmert.

The brochure did not include the costs associated with the first phase " the deconstruction of the current building and the construction of a building to house two of the fire trucks to keep the district operational.

"The bond resolution requires all expenses to be included," said Remmert.

He also said that the amount to be bonded is still $5.27 million, and that number represents the maximum amount that could be bonded.

"It wouldn't surprise me at all if we came in under budget on these numbers," he said.

Another concern brought up at the meeting was whether it would be prudent for the district to consider consolidation as a cost-cutting measure.

Chief Charles Cahill said that consolidation would make the firefighters have to travel further to reach there destinations.

"Response time here at the Westmere Fire District is very good running further is going to lower that rating," he said.

Remmert said that considering the amount of property in Guilderland, the district is already servicing more than its share of property. Within the district are about 2,700 homes, 600 businesses, eight apartment complexes, and Crossgates Mall.

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