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Local News

October 4, 2012

Keene Fire Station construction begins

KEENE — Footings for the new Keene Fire Station will be poured on Friday. 

The building won’t have a cellar foundation, but it will sit on higher ground.

Progress at the site is proceeding nicely and on schedule for completion in about seven months.

STATE BOOST

The Keene Fire Commission formally accepted state funding offered in late August by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The governor announced then that $640,000 was available to help finish off the Fire Station, as Federal Emergency Management Agency recovery assistance was cut.

The funding also allows for completion of the administrative section beside the truck garage.

Keene’s station on Hurricane Road was torn in half during floods from Tropical Storm Irene on Aug. 28 last year.

Fire commissioners forged ahead, making provisions to relocate and rebuild. They found property across from Stewart’s Shop in the hamlet center.

Referendum approval from voters last year allowed for a $2.3 million project and bonding up to $500,000.

ANOTHER VOTE

With state assistance and other grant monies in hand, the Fire Department is now looking to do all of the finish work in this round of construction.

Keene fire commissioners need Fire District voter approval to add $700,000 to the project cost.

They will bring the proposal to referendum vote in mid November.

Keene Fire Chief Jody Whitney said the second referendum seeks approval to utilize additional grant funding.

“When we put this project out to bid, we did it with the full project design option and a shell for the administrative area,” Whitney said.

“We awarded (contracts) for the full (garage) bays with the administrative shell option, which keeps us just under the $2.3 million.

“The other $700,000 in grant funding will finish the administrative space for a training center, offices, management and fundraising base for Fire Department and ambulance personnel.”

NEW RULES

Fire commissioners hope to complete the administrative portion in this construction cycle, ahead of prevailing-wage increases due in January.

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