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Westhampton Beach voters OK new $15.7M firehouse

The Westhampton Beach Fire District will ask voters

The Westhampton Beach Fire District will ask voters to approve a tax increase for a new $15.7 million firehouse, saying the old one, pictured above, is too small and needs repairs. (May 31, 2013) Photo Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Westhampton Beach voters resoundingly approved a ballot proposition that will lead to a new firehouse estimated to cost $15.7 million.

The proposition passed Tuesday, 286-156, according to Carol Nemeth, Westhampton Beach Fire District treasurer.

Fred Overton, chairman of the Westhampton Beach Board of Fire Commissioners, thanked voters in an email for supporting the project.

Fire district officials said the old 1953 building is outdated and unsafe, with narrow bays that cannot fit some fire trucks.

The new building will be twice the size of the current one and raise property taxes by an estimated $115 a year on a $600,000 house. Some residents at a recent fire district information meeting raised concerns about costs, noting the price tag was as much as the new Village Hall and library combined. Some residents also protested the timing of the vote, well before most of the summer residents arrive.

Architects will finish the drawings during the next eight months, said Victor Canseco, principal with construction manager Sandpebble Builders. After a couple months of bidding on the project, he said, demolition on the current fire house will start next spring. The new building should be completed in 2015, he said.
 

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