The Midway Fire Department in Colonie is looking to build a new firehouse to replace the current building, which has several problems.
On Tuesday, July 22, the first of two public hearings will be held at the current firehouse at 1956 Central Ave. to discuss replacing the 63-year-old building the fire company is based.
After seven years of research and planning, the district has proposed an $8.2 million firehouse that would require a $6.5 million loan. Since the department has been planning for a new station, they already have $1.7 million in their building fund. The cost to taxpayers would be roughly $59 per year, or $1.14 a week.
Engineering firm C.T. Male Associates has been looking at the structure and assessing the best way to go about solving the current problems with the station. Their list found more than 50 items that needed to be repaired. The building has had numerous additions over the years that have created other problems, said Charles Rappazo, the Midway Fire Department building committee chairperson.
“When renovations were done, things were covered up, including asbestos in the building. There are structure problems where water has leaked into a closet and started rotting away supports. The commissioner did as much as possible without spending more money,” said Rappazo
The plans include a training room that would be used for several different things and would also be open to public use.
“The plan for new station is to have a training room so we can have more courses. We basically have Colonie EMS looking for a place to hold their EMT classes. We also hold yoga class on Monday and Wednesday, and would still do things for the public and different organizations,” said Gleason.
The department is also required to do different training by OSHA, and the new truck bay would include a window bail out, ladder evolutions, sprinkler operations and other training facilities so the firefighters can train on site.
Since Midway is an all-volunteer department, things like a new fire station and on-site training facilities are an incentive for new volunteers.
“We’re trying to encourage volunteers, so we’re trying to make it as easy as possible. New stations have a tendency to bring in recruits and increase retention,” said Gleason.
Public information sessions are July 22 and Aug. 19. The bond issue vote will be held Aug. 26.
“We plan on telling people why it’s necessary and what’s wrong with the station, what we wanted to do and where we’re at now. We’re not going for anything fancy; we’re going for function. We’ve been looking at stations over a year, and we’ve been looking at things we wanted and eliminated things we didn’t need and have it to what will work,” said Rappazo. He added he wants to encourage members of the community to come out and ask questions and make suggestions.
More information can be found at www.midwayfd.com.