Firehouse Committee to Seek Manager

The Firehouse Building Committee hopes to have a plan for the new facility finalized by the end of July, First Selectman Matt Riiska told his board of selectmen Tuesday afternoon.

“Members of the fire department have been attending the building committee meetings, so a lot of things are being hashed out. They’re doing a very good job of getting a plan that meets the fire department’s requirements but is well within reason of what they really need,” he said. 

He said architect David Stein recommended this week that the town employ a project manager. “I’m relying on David to provide names of people who we hope will apply,” Riiska said, adding that a subcommittee would make the selection. The project manager will get solid quotes for different components. The cost is estimated at $75,000 to $85,000.

Also to be hired is an estimator, who will look at the final plan and estimate how much it will cost so the town can pursue funding. That position could command a salary of about $15,000.  

The town is in line for $3 million in state funding and Riiska is trying to get another million in a federal grant. He confirmed that even though government money is involved, the town will not be compelled to take the lowest bid. 

Since the Planning and Zoning Commission gave approval for the site’s development, committee discussions have centered on what the building will look like. “We’re very aware of what it will look like and how it will fit into the community,” he said. 

The building will be constructed next to City Meadow and will be visible from a number of vantage points around the town’s center. Stein designed the building to have a rustic, barn-like quality so it would fit into the rural character of Norfolk and echo the color palette of nearby buildings. The building committee is now juggling how to achieve that appearance while keeping costs down.

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