Not convinced about fire house

To the Editor: From a recent newspaper article I learned that the Port Henry fire chief is hoping to get a new fire house for the village of Port Henry. I was surprised the current building is considered inadequate because it is old. What exactly is an adequate fire house for a village of 1,500 residents? Throughout the U.S. you will find many old fire houses that are considered adequate and the firemen are proud to be a part of the buildings heritage. Is this a case of boys want new toys for Christmas? The fire chief states that the current building requires daily repairs (apparently the door wouldnt open) and $42,000 in heating expenses a year. Having been in business for 20 years my intuition would lead me to investigate the facility management first. Has the building been properly insulated? Why did the door malfunction? Poor design or poor maintenance? Unlikely it is the original 100-year-old door, which was probably working fine (on hinges) before someone decided to modernize it. I remember as a small child the old power plant needed to be blasted with dynamite twice to bring it down, a fine example of a dangerous and condemned building. Many of the older buildings that have fallen in the past 40 years have been the victims of modern neglect and apathy, not building integrity. Is it cost effective for the village to invest in a new fire house? The town of Moriah has three fire departments within a three mile radius for 4,700 residents. Can the lower and fixed income residents of the village afford another tax increase after being hit with a state-mandated sewage project, $100 a barrel oil, the sub-prime mortgage mess and a looming recession? Is this the best use of taxpayers money? Would the village be better off investing in infrastructure and programs that would revitalize the downtown area and broaden the tax base? The village is already battling high vacancy rates with at least ten vacant properties on Main Street. I encourage the residents of the village to get involved and carefully weigh this decision before they need to start writing checks for a firehouse tax surcharge. Someone (the village board?) has already listed the building with a Ticonderoga realtor. Why was a village of Port Henry realtor not used? The village could use many things, Im just not convinced a new fire house is one of them. Tim Bryant
Port Henry

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