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Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Firehouse financing approved
LCFD renovations could get under way next week
By Jeffrey Bessen
Jeffrey Bessen/Herald
The villages of Lawrence and Cedarhurst agreed to fund the majority of a financing plan that will allow the Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department to add a $2 million extension to its firehouse. Lawrence Mayor Martin Oliner spoke at the Oct. 18 village board meeting.

Financing for the proposed renovation of the Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department firehouse at Washington and Central avenues in Lawrence has been solidified, with the two villages agreeing to fund the $2 million project.

The municipalities approved resolutions for the 15-year financing plan at meetings on Oct. 15 (in Cedarhurst) and 18 (in Lawrence). Lawrence will pay $1.074 million, Cedarhurst will contribute $736,170 and the North Lawrence Fire District and the Town of Hempstead will cover the remaining $199,820 of the project’s cost.

The villages also approved separate new five-year fire service contracts. They are retroactive to June 1, 2001, and run through May 30, 2016.

The LCFD provides additional fire service to the North Lawrence Fire District and communities outside the villages in the Town of Hempstead.

The renovation project for the firehouse could get under way next week. Department officials obtained a Lawrence village building permit on Oct. 19.

“The Fire Department is doing a very responsible job of getting it done under a tight budget,” said Cedarhurst Deputy Mayor Benjamin Weinstock. “We are satisfied the numbers are reasonable. It is critically important and a matter of safety for the firefighters.”

Working in a headquarters that was built 110 years ago and last renovated in 1971 — albeit with a three-bay extension — has made it difficult for the department to shift its equipment, as fire trucks have grown in size and emergency vehicles have been added to its fleet.

“I’m looking forward to the project starting,” said 1st Assistant Fire Chief John McHugh. “More apparatus will be able to be moved in and out faster, and it will be safer for the department members.”

The expansion will include an extension of the building on the Washington Avenue side to accommodate a larger pumper truck and an ambulance on the first floor, and office space, the department’s command center and a handicapped-accessible bathroom upstairs.

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