TUPPER LAKE - A committee will present the Tupper Lake Volunteer Fire Department's options for building a new fire hall at a final public forum tonight.
At the last meeting of the committee - which is made up of village, town, fire department and taxpayer representatives - members scored each option for new sites and building formats. Their ranks will be presented tonight.
"I would urge all community members to attend this," village Mayor Paul Maroun said at a village board meeting last week.
There are multiple problems with the fire department's current building on High Street: It's not accessible to handicapped people, there isn't enough room in the bays, and there is structural failure at the overhead doors where the facade is pulling away from the building, among other issues. Fire department officials have been asking the village to give them a new station for years, but there have always been disputes over how to afford it and where to put it.
That's why the village decided to pay $24,800 to hire Sean Foran, a consultant from the Syracuse-based firm Hueber-Breuer, to figure out what the realistic options were and which wouldn't work.
Village Trustee Rick Donah, who oversees the fire department, said the committee has been grappling with whether to construct or overhaul a building just to house the fire department, to include both the fire department and police station - another facility that is seriously lacking - or to also include the rescue squad.
If you go ...
What: Last of three public forums on building a new Tupper Lake fire hall
When: 7 p.m. tonight
Where: Goff-Nelson Memorial Library basement, Tupper Lake
If the rescue squad is on board and can take the lead, the structure would not have to be considered a municipal building because the rescue squad is not run by the municipalities like the fire and police departments are. That would mean cheaper prices and fewer restrictions on the site and construction process.
The rescue squad has already been fundraising to expand its current facility, also located on High Street. Its membership has voted in the past not to jump on board with a new shared emergency building, but rescue squad officials are listening to the plans and could reconsider.
Donah said at last week's village board meeting that he hopes people come to the forum tonight and give their feedback.
Either way, Donah noted that a new building is going to cost money, and there will probably be another public forum when the process moves into the phase where they try to figure out how to finance the building.
Contact Jessica Collier at 518-891-2600 ext. 26 or firstname.lastname@example.org.