BRIER HILL - Contractor bids will be solicited next month for a new fire station in the hamlet.
Fire Chief Shawn Macaulay said the department has a timetable to move into a new fire house on Route 37 west of the current one by the start of 2013.
We are hoping to be ready to put the new station out to bid by the end of May with an early summer start, and hopefully be moved in by the end of the year, he said.
The current fire station is located at 2734 Route 37. The 6,000-square-foot building is a former hardware store, and firefighters moved into it in 1977.
The new, 12,000-square-foot fire station will be built at the intersection of Route 37 and School Street. It is, in fact, the site of the first fire house.
Mr. Macaulay said it is clearly time for a new, bigger building.
The building has served us well, but we have outgrown the building, he said. We currently have only two truck bay doors with six vehicles.
The new fire station will have four truck bays, each deep enough for two vehicles.
We will be able to put all our vehicles inside at once, Mr. Macaulay said.
The new fire station will also feature handicapped access and a room large enough to hold 200 people that can be used as a community center. There will also be a full kitchen.
Mr. Macaulay envisions a facility that can host events like Friday nights annual department bullhead dinner without crowding and having to move the fire trucks outside.
It will also provide the department with a source of revenue.
We will be charging for use of the community center, Mr. Macaulay said. At this time we do not have a fee on the use.
The community center will also be used by the department as a training room for its 45 firefighters.
The buildings estimated cost hasnt been divulged, pending the outcome of the bids. But Mr. Macaulay said the department will pay for the project with its own money, along with donations and proceeds from fundraisers.