Council to decide fate of new firehouse in Enfield - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Council to decide fate of new firehouse in Enfield

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ENFIELD, CT (WFSB) -

The Town Council will decide Monday night whether or not to sell a piece of land to the Thompsonville Fire District, which would lead to a new firehouse in Enfield.

While some residents told Eyewitness News it's too much money, fire Chief Frank Alaimo argued it comes down to safety and is long overdue.

Town officials have been trying for years to replace the Thompsonville Fire Station; however, previous plans have been rejected by voters.

Now, the fire district is going ahead with building a new one without sending it to a referendum.

"They should have been fixing the fire department," said Salvatore Porcello, of Enfield. "Why let it go the way it is?"

Alaimo said the station, which was built in 1939, has seen better days.

"It's outgrown itself, probably 25 years ago," he said.

The fire district wants to buy this piece of property near the old Higgins School, on the corner of Lincoln and North Main, from the city for $160,000.

Renderings are ready to go, a signed purchasing agreement is in place and it just needs the Town Council to approve the deal.

Last summer, the current firehouse came under scrutiny for a number of safety and building code violations. Alaimo said the building is not ADA compliant and the garage can barely fit the trucks.

He added there are "serious problems" with mold and bad air, as well as the "reinforcement of the truck floor."

As for not putting it out to a vote, Alaimo said under the state law, the town is not required to hold a referendum. He added they did so in the past when it involved bonding, and the final cost was more.

In this instance, there will be no bonding and no tax increase.

"We've got it in or budget, to satisfy the debt, probably a 20- or 30-year mortgage," Alaimo said.

The public hearing is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. in the Enfield Room at Town Hall.

If the Town Council approves the sale, the groundbreaking would take place on June 10 with the hopes the department will be in the new station by next spring.

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