Fayetteville firehouse no longer fits needs

It may be time for the village of Fayetteville to expand its fire department facilities, according to a village steering committee.

As the number of annual rescue calls for the Fayetteville Fire Department increase at an alarming rate, the current structure is outdated because of limited operational space.

Paul Hildreth, the department's chief, told the village board Monday night, it was "time to move forward" in seeking financing for major renovations to the building.

The firehouse, located on East Genesee Street in the village, has served as the station since 1952.

"We need something functional," Hildreth said. The fire department responded to 3,100 fire and ambulance calls last year. Three years ago, there were 2,400 calls.

Hildreth and a committee, formed a year ago, have been working with consultant Sean Foran of Heuber-Breuer of Syracuse on plans that would provide office, storage, garage and living space to the structure.

The committee, he said, studied traffic patterns and the feasibility of finding another parcel of land to construct a new station and concluded the renovations would serve the village more effectively than relocation and reconstruction.

"To be realistic, the current location is the best place for the fire department," he added. "I don't see us leaving (our station)."

Mayor Mark Olson agreed.

"Something has to be done with the station," he said.

The committee, which also includes Trustee Chris Randall, has outlined a needs assessment for the project, including preliminary designs from several sources. Subsequent stages will feature schematic drawings, construction plans and costs.

Hildreth said the committee would like to narrow the field of suitable project blueprints in the near future.

"There is a lot of work left to be done," Hildreth said. "We just don't want to fall behind."

The bulk of the initial costs of the project, he added, will be funded by the fire department's capital reserve fund. The timeline for the start of the renovation project would not be for nearly 18 months.

In other action

The board appointed Trustee Mary Coleman and resident Tom Gaggin to the regional steering committee to study fire department consolidation within the town of Manlius.

The board will next meet at 7 p.m. Monday Feb. 23 at the Fayetteville Municipal Building.

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