There will be a public meeting this Monday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall to discuss the plans for a new combined Fire Station and Town Highway Garage, and also to discuss the plans to renovate the Town Hall building. The committee working on this project has been looking at all the angles for more than a year now, and the last public meeting in December drew a large and interested crowd.
As most of us recall, previous plans to combine the Town Hall with a Highway Garage and Fire Station in one municipal building were voted down twice in the recent past. I don’t think anyone really questions the fact that the Fire Department and Department of Public Works both need new facilities. Among other major issues, both are currently housed in old buildings that are simply too small to accommodate the newer trucks, which basically seem to get bigger every year. The main stumbling block (as I see it anyway) was that many people really liked having the Town Hall where it is, within walking distance of the village center, and not up at the Town Shed, which was the proposed site.
The committee has listened to the voters, and now proposes to renovate the Town Hall building to bring it up to code, while building a new structure to be a shared facility for the other two entities. In addition to savings on shared resources, this will also have a real benefit in practical terms of emergency response time, since a high number of highway workers also serve as your volunteer firefighters and volunteer ambulance squad personnel.
This meeting will be another important opportunity for residents to engage in the discussion about these two projects, both of which are absolutely vital for the future of our community. How do you feel about it? Come and be heard!
On a related note, don’t forget that from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday in March the Westport Fire Department will have its Annual Car Wash. Get a ticket for $5 from your friendly neighborhood volunteer firefighter, or buy a book of five tickets for only $20. You can also get tickets by calling Ernie LaPine at 962-4465, or stopping by the (unrenovated) Town Hall to see our Town Clerk, Sheila Borden.