By Cristina Kumka
The newly-formed Killington Volunteer Fire Department Facilities Committee, charged with reviewing the needs and wants of the department and possibility of a new firehouse, took a tour of the Killington Road fire station on Wednesday, Dec. 17.
The committee considered a feasibility study done by Dore & Whittier Architects, Inc. in which the firm recommended the first station be outfitted with some major improvements, including an elevator, a sprinkler system, new lighting, controls and wiring.
The report stipulates that “New lighting and controls should be installed to replace all exterior fixtures. All lighting in the 1974 and 1984 portions of the building should be removed and replaced… All wiring in the 1974 and 1984 portions of the building should be completely removed and replaced.”
The report included a picture of an exposed light bulb nearly resting on exposed insulation–what seems to be a fire hazard in itself.
In attendance for the tour were town manager Seth Webb; fire chief Gary Roth; committee members Stephen Finneron, Vito Rasenas, Otto Iannantuoni, Andrea Weymouth, and Andrew Salamon; as well as a reporter, and Killington resident Charlie Holland.
After the walk through Rasenas reported a deplorable single bathroom, exposed wiring and rotting structure. “It [the tour] opened my eyes,” Rasenas said. “The fire house is cramped…The air quality is very bad. Frankly, the options are to fix the existing structure or build a new one somewhere else. I’m pretty conservative when it comes to the town’s money and I’ve always said we need to provide the basic municipal functions–roads, police and fire. Yet the town can’t support one of the basic functions…the fire department. I would rather sacrifice hay bales and give the fire department a proper operating budget and a new fire house,” he said.
Estimates to build a new fire house range from $2.5 million to $6.5 million.
Cristina Kumka is a correspondent for The Mountain Times and producer and host at PegTV.