Backers of New Hyannis Fire Station Looking for Support Ahead of Vote

CCB MEDIA PHOTO Hyannis Fire Station.

CCB MEDIA PHOTO
Hyannis Fire Station.

HYANNIS – Backers of the proposed new Hyannis fire station are continuing to seek support for the facility.

Fire commissioners and volunteers were at polling locations throughout the village on primary day to hand out information to voters as they exited the polls.

“I was very much encouraged by the greetings of the people that were there in saying, ‘We need this fire house. You’ve cut it back. You’ve listened to the people. You’ve made it smaller. Now let’s get it done,’” said Peter Cross, the chairman of the Hyannis Fire District Board of Commissioners.

Voters will decide on bonding for a new facility for the fourth time in the last few years on April 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Barnstable High School.

The newest proposal is for a 33,000 square-foot, $18.5 million facility.

“We’ve cut it back to the point where there are absolutely no frills in this fire house design,” Cross said. “There’s no fat in this whatsoever.”

Taxpayers would be responsible for $17.6 million of the cost after as $900,000 will be applied from the sale of a piece of land.

The new facility is about 22,000 square feet smaller than the first proposal.

“The price is never going to be any lower than it is right now,” Cross said. “The price is not going to go down because inflation is creeping up on us no matter how you cut it.”

When the current fire station in Hyannis was built in 1965, the department averaged about 600 calls each year and there were very few on duty firefighters.

“We now have 54 people on staff and in 2015 we answered just over 7,000 calls for fire and emergency medical assistance,” Cross said.

Cross said the need for a new facility is indisputable.

“The fire trucks we have are bigger and they hardly fit into the building,” he said. “The equipment floor is crammed. We have no storage facilities whatsoever. We have no separate facilities for male and female firefighters.

The current station’s elevator does not work and in order to replace it the building would need to be restructured to meet modern building codes.

Cross said there is no place to decontaminate ambulances safely.

“It’s just way too small and totally inadequate for the number of firefighters we have and the number of calls that we answer,” he said.

More information on the proposed fire station, including a tax breakdown, can be found at hyannisfire.org and on Facebook.

Cross said tours of the current facility can also be set up by calling the fire station.

The last vote failed to garner a two-thirds majority by 29 votes in October of 2014. A previous vote failed by just eight votes.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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Comments

  1. Should have better maintained the current properties. Plenty of municipal buildings are over 100 years old and lasted because they were properly maintained.

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