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Public to have say on fire station upgrade

Steel from the three truck bays will be salvaged at Jonesville’s station 2 in Clifton Park and go into an expanded facility at the same location. (Photo submitted)

Steel from the three truck bays will be salvaged at Jonesville’s station 2 in Clifton Park and go into an expanded facility at the same location. (Photo submitted)

— Jonesville Fire District officials say the department’s aging Station 2 on Route 146A in Clifton Park is in dire need of renovation, but first the district’s taxpayers will have to approve the borrowing of over one million dollars for the project.

Plans for a significant upgrade have been drafted, and a public forum will be held on Thursday, March 22, at 7 p.m. at the station, followed bya public referendum on borrowing money for the project on April 3.

Voters turned down two previous referendums in 2006, both of which called for a completely new and larger building than what is proposed now. In July 2006, cost for the project was slated at $4.2 million. In December 2006, it was $3.8 million.

The existing station is 6,400 square feet. After the proposed renovation, which includes retention of part of the building, it would stand at 8,700 square feet. The cost for the entire project is pegged at $2.2 million, $633,000 of which will be taken from the department’s building reserve fund.The department also plans to sell a piece of property owned by the district on Center Road, leaving a cost of $1.2 that would be bonded. Residents of the district will have the chance to vote on that borrowing.

To aid in the decision making process, a committee of 16 people was formed. Eight members of the committee were from the fire district, and eight were taxpayers. The previous referendums did not involve a committee that included taxpayers.

“The building is not getting any younger. The committee looked at nine options including moving to somewhere else, having a dual building with the town and fixing what we have. We’ve looked at all the costs,” said Jim Miller, chairman of the board of fire commissioners, of options for the nearly 40-year-old building.

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