KVFD goes back to the drawing board

KEESEVILLE After a strong nay vote for a new station/community building, Keeseville Volunteer Fire Department (KVFD) has scaled back the size of the project and plans to put it back before voters. A proposal for a $6.5 million, 29,000-square-foot building was firmly defeated in June, 501-186, forcing the fire commissioners to cut back on the project. A plan for a 21,000 square foot building, estimated cost of $5.3 million, will go before voters on Dec. 11. Butch Clodgo, chairman of the fire commissioners, said that public hearings had indicated there was no support for the state police substation, fitness room and community room. The plan eliminates 8,000 square feet, and scales back on the size of the kitchen, toilet facility, storage area and offices. We decided to go down to the bare bones to what could still do the job. We believe weve taken all the fat out of it - we've eliminated anything that wasn't totally necessary. We're down to a basic fire station. We thought the people were into a community building, like with the community rooms for a shelter, and have a kitchen and bathroom. That was in the original building - after listening to the comments and votes, we're offering this time just a basic fire station, said Clodgo. The plan calls for one meeting room, which would seat 64 people. The room could be used for flu clinics, but Bingo and other community activities would no longer be held at the station due to space. The estimated tax impact is $1.16 per thousand of assessed value for 30 years. The original plan would have cost $1.52 per thousand. The KVFD is in need of a new building, Clodgo explained, due to space concerns, meeting state standards, and wear and tear on the current structure. The structure would be constructed at the current fire department location. If the project is approved, ground would likely be broken in autumn 2008, with a move-in date of autumn 2009. Clodgo said issues facing the fire station werent going to disappear. If the motion is defeated, he believed serious investment would be required to maintain the 1965 structure, possibly up to $4 million. If this fails, we're going to take some time off. We've been at this a year and a half, said Clodgo. There will be a public hearing on Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. at the fire station. On Dec. 11, the vote will take place from 6-9 p.m., at the same time as the annual election of fire commissioners. Charles Cobb, Andrew Dixon, and Scott Zmijewski are all seeking the one vacant seat.

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