Vote date set for Slingerlands firehouse job

Plans are moving forward on a plan to expand the Slingerlands firehouse, with a public referendum on borrowing for the project tentatively scheduled for this September.

The Slingerlands Fire Department, which serves parts of Bethlehem and New Scotland, has been investigating making some more space for over a year now. Though discussion had stalled for a while, the department's Board of Commissioners have formed a committee and are searching for bond counsel and a construction manager.

Right now we are in full swing with moving the project forward, said Walter Eck, chairman of the board.

A study has pegged the cost of the project at $1.8 million, which would buy an equipment room, larger vehicle bays, a day room for on-call EMTs and training and shower facilities. A ventilation system would also be added to the vehicle bays; right now, there is no venting of diesel fumes when the department's vehicles are started up.

That cost estimate doesn't include design work and other extraneous expenses, so the final figure could be larger, said Eck.

"There will be many more details coming out about all of this," he said.

The Board of Commissioners also approved setting a public meeting two weeks out from the bonding referendum. The department will need the approval of voters in the fire district to borrow money for the project, though an amount to bond has not been decided on.

If voters approve the borrowing, the department will look to the spring of 2012 for a groundbreaking.""

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