Mastic Beach ambulance company may move

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The Mastic Beach Ambulance Company has proposed constructing a $6 million complex for its new home, which would increase homeowner tax bills by about $60 per year.

Ambulance company officials, who have targeted a vacant grocery store at Elder Drive and Neighborhood Road, say they have outgrown their facility on Whittier Drive. They cautioned that relocating would increase emergency response time by up to three minutes.

The grocery store would be demolished and the new building constructed on the site, officials said.

Brookhaven Town must hold a public hearing before action can be taken.

Doug Warner, the company's board chairman, said the move would allow the ambulance service to adequately house emergency vehicles. It now has three bays to store its four ambulances and three first responder vehicles.

The company at 180 Whittier Dr. averages 2,200 emergency phone calls per year, officials said.

"On a good day we have $250,000 to a half-million dollars in vehicles sitting outside in the rain," Warner said in an interview at Tuesday's village board meeting. "It's just too small."

He said the average village homeowner would pay another $60 in taxes, and businesses, $70."That's $5 a month or one cup of Starbucks coffee," said Warner, who wants the new building to have enough space to offer cardiopulmonary resuscitation classes.

Ambulance company officials said costs to rebuild on the former grocery site could reach $6 million.

"We won't know until we have a set of architectural plans," Warner said. He added that the company plans to return to the board at a future date to discuss plans.

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"We've got your back 100 percent," village Mayor Bill Biondi said at the meeting. "You're a tremendous help. Without you, we'll be in bad shape."

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