By Stephen Seitz
KILLINGTON – Vito Resenas, Andrew Salamon, and Steve Finneron are the three Killington residents who have been named to the Killington Volunteer Fire Department Facilities Review Committee.
Killington’s fire department no longer meets state standards, or the needs of the department.
“We have to assemble before Thanksgiving to establish an agenda and meeting schedule,” said Killington town manager Seth Webb.
According to the call for letters of interest, the committee is expected to “consider the short and long term needs of the Fire Department, review the study done by Architects, Dore and Whittier (hired by the Town to review the Fire Department facilities), consult outside experts, and foster citizen participation in the review and recommendation process.”
According to Dorr & Whittier, the main station on Killington Road needs a great deal of work. Modern fire safety standards require a sprinkler system and two fire exits. The building is not handicapped accessible, and needs more bathrooms. The floors are not even, and the plumbing, electricity and insulation are not very efficient. It lacks cross-ventilation and enough storage space. A stream close by poses a flood risk, and there are no facilities for dealing with stormwater. It is also likely that the 35,000-gallon storage tank and pumps will have to be replaced. The architects also found that the station is too close to Killington Road, and may require the installation of traffic signals to solve some additional problems. Finally, the architects noted that any solution at the current site would require the purchase of additional land, as the private lot adjacent to the property provides a lot of the parking.
Webb said the review committee is necessary to ensure public participation in the decision-making. “This is a citizen committee,” he said, adding that there won’t be any town officials serving on it, but that he will attend all the meetings.
Webb said the committee has no particular deadline to produce its findings and recommendations.
At a special meeting for the selectmen held back in September, Dore & Whittier said the town faced two choices: renovate the existing facilities, or find a new site for the fire department. They offered five possible choices: 1) make capital improvements to the existing sites; 2) make the improvements and add an apparatus bay; 3) build a new station; 4) build a new station and include the police department; or 5) build at an entirely new site. The latter offers the possibility of including other functions of local government under one roof.
For more information visit www.killingtontown.com.