ALTAMONT New York state’s oldest volunteer rescue squad will have a little more room to serve modern needs through an approved expansion at its three-decade-old building.
The Guilderland Zoning Board of Appeals on Wednesday, Feb. 19, gave the final approval needed for Altamont Rescue Squad to start soliciting bids for an expansion. The squad’s building, located just beyond the village line on Route 146, required a special use permit and variances. ARS serves the village and portions of the towns of Guilderland and Knox, with those municipalities providing funding to the not-for-profit ambulance service provider.
“I think it will be a benefit for everybody,” Warren Quinn, chief of operations for ARS, said. “It is a very modest move (forward), too.”
The project is estimated to cost around $500,000, according to construction fillings listed online, and is primarily adding a third bay to house Guilderland’s emergency medical vehicle. The expansion will also add a third bedroom, more office space and an updated decontamination room, along with other workplace safety enhancements. Outside the facility, the driveway would be converted to a one-way, loop driveway.
ARS Board of Directors member Maureen Ramirez said the squad has two ambulances and the town provides a paramedic vehicle. The new bay would allow the town vehicle to come inside and turn its engine off. Medicine inside the town’s vehicle must be stored at certain temperatures.
“They require that the vehicle continue to run in order to keep the medicines at the proper temperatures — warm in the winter, cool in the summer,” Ramirez said. “Our initial desire was to try to be green; get it out and turn it off.”
CSArch Senior Associate Dean Whalen, representing the squad, said the site plan was largely unchanged, but four, large pine trees were added at the back of the property. The retention area for stormwater management was reduced and allowed the existing trees to remain, said Whalen, who is also an Altamont Board of Trustees member.