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Vote deferred second time on $2M Lawrence-Cedarhurst firehouse expansion

Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department, located at the corner of

Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department, located at the corner of Washington and Central avenues, has serviced Lawrence and Cedarhurst communities for more than 100 years. (April 17, 2012) (Credit: Brittany Wait)

The Lawrence Village board has again deferred voting on its contract with the Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department for fire protection services and on an agreement that would help cover the funds to pay for a $2 million expansion to the department’s out-of-date firehouse.

Lawrence Village attorney A. Thomas Levin said at Thursday’s board meeting that attorneys on both sides still are reviewing changes to the contract between the village and the fire department.

The fire department has been proposing for three years to expand the three-story building on Washington Avenue — constructed in 1902 and extended in 1970 — because modern trucks do not fit through its doors and the department needs extra space. The proposed extension would include two additional bays on the first floor, and more offices and training rooms on the second floor.

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Cedarhurst Village approved its five-year contract with the department in October. Fire chief John E. McHugh expressed to the board his disappointment with the lack of progress in Lawrence.

“We’ve reached a saturation point,” said McHugh, who was accompanied by 25 other fire department members. “We’ve had no reason but to feel like we’ve been mistreated ... We’re running out of patience and time.”

Mayor Martin Oliner said he’s willing to sign the contract, adding that the village has its $1 million portion for the expansion and will not have to borrow.

“We have no reason not to move this forward,” Oliner said. “I want to finish with this. This has been going on for too long.”

Lawrence Yacht and Country Club general manager Leo McMahon also said at the meeting that superstorm Sandy-related marina repairs are on track to be completed by April 1. The board also approved the purchase of four replacement vehicles, 80 golf carts and a grinder, all lost to Sandy.

Tags: Lawrence , firehouse , vote , delay

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