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Years of planning ends with groundbreaking

Second vote needed to address rising costs of Slingerlands Firehouse expansion

Albany County Executive and former firefighter Dan McCoy speaks at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Slingerlands Fire Station expansion.

Albany County Executive and former firefighter Dan McCoy speaks at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Slingerlands Fire Station expansion. Photo by Marcy Velte.

— The expansion was also said to be needed in anticipation of growth due in no small part to the creation of the Vista Technology Park and because those in the department didn’t have room for a staging place during emergencies.

“During (Tropical Storm) Irene and Lee we were sitting outside on a bench watching the weather underneath the overhang, but still out in the elements,” said McConky. “We really didn’t have anywhere to go.”

Taxes will increase only on the $1.8 million originally bonded for the project. The average homeowner in Bethlehem within the district will see a tax increase of $78.44, while the average New Scotland homeowner covered by Slingerlands Fire will pay $48.94 more.

At the ceremony Albany County Executive Dan McCoy, a former Slingerlands firefighter, said he’s glad to see the project underway.

“I was a member here for about six years and even back then they were talking about an expansion and making more room for the apparatus,” he said, calling the firefighter and officials working on the project “dedicated.”

Sen. Neil Breslin said Bethlehem’s fire responders are “unparalleled and Slingerland’s Fire District is at the top” and the expansion will make service “even better.”

The project is expected to be completed within the next six months.

“The goal right now is to get the bay portion done so we can get the apparatus back inside by the end of October before the freeze,” said McConky. The main portions of the project are expected to be completed by December, with some minor work left over in the spring, depending on the weather.

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