Courtesy of the town of Killington
Proposed new Killington public safety building on Killington Road.
By Polly Lynn Mikula
KILLINGTON—On Sept. 5 there will be a special town meeting vote asking residents to approve the purchase of land for a new public safety building on Killington Road to house the fire department and first responders, police department and Killington Search and Rescue.
The Fire Department Facility Review Committee and Killington Select Board will be holding a public informational hearing on Thursday, Aug. 31 at 7 p.m. at the Killington Elementary School gym. The session will address why a new public safety building is needed; how co-locating the fire, rescue and police services will enhance public safety; and how the land costs will be covered with no net effect on the town budget or taxes.
Stephen Finneron, Otto Iannantuoni, Vito Rasenas and Andrew Salamon make up the town Fire Department Facility Review Committee.
The proposed land purchase is a four acre lot just southeast of Woods Road. The Woods Spa and Resort shares the site’s western border, and Peppino’s and Mountain Sports Inn are located across Killington Road. A separate road off Killington Road would be built to access the site.
“We need a new fire house on an emergency level,” Chet Hagenbarth, highway and facilities director, has said. “We’re in violation of state mandates. We have a fire department that doesn’t even meet fire code,” he said. “Nor does the fire department own all the land it currently occupies.”
While the committee first considered what it would take to retrofit the fire department at its current location, a lengthy report by architects Dore and Whittier in February 2015 concluded: “The current site is inadequate to meet the current needs and future needs of the Killington fire station and renovating the existing structure is not cost effective.”
Since, the committee has considered 13 potential sites weighing a multitude of criteria from ease of access and distance, to cost of site work, to cost and quantity of land available. The committee eventually concluded that the best site would be a four acre lot just south of Woods Road.
The town has negotiated a purchase price of $525,000 for the four acres of land. Additionally, owner Steve Durkee will provide $20,000 of in kind services to prep the site. Voters will be asked to approve $634,360, which includes the purchase of the land, plus engineering investigation and design ($21,860) and architectural design ($87,500) so that an accurate project cost and scope can be presented to the voters next summer (2018). If approved, construction would likely begin the summer of 2019.