Created: February 18, 2020 11:20 PM
SCOTIA - Residents in the Village of Scotia shared comments and concerns about plans for a new fire house and renovations to village hall and the police department on Tuesday night.
A public meeting to was held to give residents an idea of what was being proposed and to get feedback.
Village officials are proposing two projects totaling just under $11.5 million. The money would allow them to build a new fire house and renovate Village Hall and the police department, all of which are extremely lacking in space.
The current building dates back to 1907 and is not handicap accessible. Officials said the cramped space compromises officer safety and by extension, public safety.
Scotia Fire Chief Kenneth Almy said it's been an issue for decades.
"Looking back at some of the old newspaper clippings from the 70's they had discussed a new fire station and they go great guns and then it gets put on the back burner somewhere and 2020 now and the villages doing something about it,” Almy said.
Six potential sites were looked at for the new fire house. The location at the corner of Mohawk Avenue and Collins Street scored highest on the design company's rubric. But, some residents had concerns about that location.
It would require taking up some park space, which the state would have to sign off on.
The design company said they would do a land swap, meaning the land being taken would be replaced with new green space.
Some residents said that specific space is essential to the library and people who recreate in Collins Park.
"During the summer months the children's programs are fantastic and the rest of the year people are always in there,” one concerned resident said.
Other residents are concerned about moving the veteran’s memorial to make way for the firehouse. Some asked about the local traffic impact, if the historic village library could be damaged by construction and if the new lot would provide room for further growth. The project manager said it does not.
However, he said every year that passes the cost of materials, labor and bond interest rates rise.
Waiting just one year to vote on the same exact project would cost the village an additional $2 million.
Village residents voted against almost the same project about 15 years ago, but it proposed a different location.
"That was basically the same project and it was around $7 million and now we're talking about $11 million you know it just keeps on getting bigger every time,” Scotia Mayor Thomas Gifford said.
The next public meeting will be held on March 17 at 7 p.m. The location has not been determined yet as some residents asked if it could be held in a location with more space than Scotia Village Hall provides.
In the meantime, residents with concerns or questions are invited to email the project manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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