BY MICHAEL RICONDA
Nanuet – Having served as the hub of Nanuet fire emergency services for 70 years, Nanuet’s Firehouse is overdue for replacement as the Fire Company plans its transfer to its new location on Old Middletown Road.
The Nanuet Fire Company held its final public information session on August 21 at their Prospect Avenue firehouse, where it outlined the project’s specifications and presented visuals and plans of the brand new firehouse, which will span 23,296 square feet and house six truck bays.
Though questions were raised over the cost and funding mechanisms behind the project, the response was positive overall, with an eagerness among attendees to follow through on a project many felt would improve fire safety in Nanuet. Architect Bernard Lanza explained the new firehouse would be a major asset in not only improving fire safety overall, but also in attracting and training new recruits.
“The fire company and the fire district need to accomplish three things for this type of an operation to continue: One is attracting volunteers, secondly is training volunteers, and thirdly is maintaining the volunteers,” Lanza explained. “This building here, given the aesthetics of it and the safety of it isn’t conducive to attracting and maintaining volunteers.”
The Fire Company’s current location, which has been used as a firehouse in 1943 and received several structural additions since the 1960s, is being replaced primarily due to structural problems and a lack of space. The soil underlying the structure is known to be poor, causing major cracks in walls and floors where parts of the building have begun to separate from each other.
Additionally, the fire house has no insulation and its plumbing and electric outfitting have not been up to code for some time, presenting risks not only to Nanuet residents but also fire personnel themselves.
The new project will be built to comfortably accommodate modern fire trucks and equipment with 15’4” wide bays. In contrast with the current, cramped Prospect Avenue location, the new spot on Old Middletown will also have sufficient space for truck maneuvering and new equipment as firefighting technology improves.
“Emergency services today are totally different from how they were when I joined in 1977,” Fire Commissioner Harold Straut stated. “We’re advancing so quickly and so fast that we can’t keep up with everything.”
Other features include a large meeting room which can be used as a bunk room in case of emergency, solar panels to help defray energy costs, a gear storage system and company office space.
Pending a favorable September 17 vote, the project will be financed by a 25 year municipal bond. Given the project’s funding is expected to be approved and the deal for the new property has already been closed, construction is set to begin next year.
“We’ve finally got to a point where we’re ready to go out to the public, ask permission to borrow the money to build the building, and we want to move forward,” Straut explained.
The current building, which was appraised at anywhere between $600,000 to 700,000, will likely be sold.