MCKOWNVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Neighbors voted on a proposed expansion to the McKownville Fire Department.
Neighbors said they want to see the firefighters succeed and have up-to-date resources. But they also wondered what it will cost.
John Joseph has been a firefighter in McKownville for six years, but even he admitted the department layout isn’t ideal.
“We definitely need more room because when we respond to a call, it’s like we’re running into each other,” he said.
McKownville Fire Commissioner James White agreed.
“We’re very cramped, and we’ve had some instances in the truck room where we’ve had people injured,” he said.
As firefighting has evolved, so too should a fire department.
“This is a 50-year-old house, and that’s about the life span of a fire department,” White said.
Therefore, an upgraded expansion was proposed. It included adding a second floor to the building and making it more functional to move around in.
“The only thing we can do is go up versus leasing another property or buying another building,” White said.
Tuesday night, voting on the expansion was opened to the public. Neighbors provided their own opinions.
Some said it was worth the spike in taxes, which equals about $12 per month. But others said that amount would add up quickly.
While they support their firefighters, they also remained hesitant about the cost of the expansion.
But in a vote of 90 to 46, residents approved the expansion. Construction is expected to begin in early 2017 with the hopes of completion by 2018, which is the 100th anniversary of the fire department.