A new substation for the East Northport Fire Department will help the department to better serve the north side of the district, according to officials.
The 7,500-square-foot, one-story substation will be built on parcels that the fire district owns at 202-206 Laurel Rd., just east of Dickinson Avenue. The facility will cost about $1.2 million to $1.4 million, according to fire district manager Joe Ervine, and bids for assembling a pre-engineered building for the site should be going out in the next month and a half.
The district began exploring ways to maintain a presence on the north side of East Northport in 1988, after the Long Island Rail Road’s train traffic created a potential barrier to first responders having to wait at the crossing near Bellerose Avenue.
“We get cut off from the north end of town” when the trains come through, Ervine said. “This board and the previous boards have always tried to put some type of fire truck and ambulance on that end of town. It’s just always been something that the residents wanted . . . to put something on the other side of the railroad crossing so there’s no delay in coming across town.”
The fire district’s zoning variance application for the site was approved in April 2017 by the Huntington Town Board, according to town officials. The application was exempt from site plan review and compliance with certain provisions of town code but still had to comply with various building department regulations, such as permits, because the fire department is still subject to the State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Codes. The district then purchased the neighboring property to the northwest, which resulted in a more conforming site plan, and the town Planning Board approved the revised site plan in December 2017. The plans also call for 16 parking spaces.
The fire department’s headquarters are on Ninth Avenue, and there is another station house on Clay Pitts Road in the south end of the district. Ervine said the department will redistribute its equipment and assets to staff the new substation and does not anticipate buying new equipment.
The district is funding the substation with $100,000 in state grants from state Sen. Carl Marcellino (R-Syosset), and the balance will come from its operating budget.
“What the board of fire commissioners is doing, they don’t want to go out and have to do loans, so we’ve been doing it in stages and paying for it right out of our operating expenses,” Ervine said.
A 6-foot-tall retaining wall on the east side of the property was built last month because of a heavy incline on that side of the parcel. Ervine said the new facility should be in use in 2019.
“We’re hoping by the end of the year to have a closed structure up and start using it actively as a substation by this time next year,” he said.