The Devil Is in the Details for Firehouse

The Firehouse Building Committee is reviewing the plans for the new Shepard Road facility, looking into the details of the design as it prepares to get final cost estimates. “We have a design, now we are looking at the components of that design,” said First Selectman Matt Riiska. “We’re looking for economies—if it is more than we think we want to spend, is there something we can do without?”

He mentioned such things as windows and doors, radiant-heated cement floors in the truck bays and exterior décor as areas where adjustments could be made. 

“There are no frills in this building,” he said. “It’s a very open plan for the truck bays, with rooms for equipment storage, mechanical rooms, a big meeting room and one small conference room.” There is also a shower room and an adjacent decontamination room where firefighters can launder and dry their sooty turnout gear per state regulations and a tower for drying hose. “That’s it,” Riiska concluded. 

While final figures are not yet developed, the cost is expected to be more than the $6 million originally thought and the committee is looking at various avenues for funding, including state and federal grants. The town is already earmarked for a $2.5 million state grant secured by State Representative Maria Horn (and State Senator Lisa Seminara (and approved by the state Bond Commission last fall.

Riiska said he has communicated with the offices of Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy and that both have responded looking for more information. “I don’t have any more information on it than that,” he said, “but I hope it means they are looking at it in a positive way.”

The building committee is composed of Matt Ludwig, Ron Zanobi, Marc Morgan, Sandy Evans, Grant Mudge, Lou Barbagallo, Jeff Torrant and Riiska. Tony Kiser has volunteered to chair fundraising and Fire Chief Brian Hutchins and NVFD president Paul Padua frequently attend committee meetings.

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