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The Recorder – Despite special permit delay, Greenfield fire station project on track

Published: 05/13/2022 17:22:30

Modified: 05/13/2022 17:20:52

GREENFIELD – Progress on the new fire station appears to be on track, despite the Zoning Board of Appeals’ inability on Thursday night to consider the application for a special permit to the location where the station is to be built.

The ZBA continued the public hearing for the property at 10 and 12 Coombs Ave. and 35-39 Main St. as of June 1 due to the absence of three board members and the conflict of interest posed by two others who also sit on the Fire Hall Construction Committee.

ZBA member David Singer, speaking as a member of the fire station construction committee, said the June 1 meeting should be ‘good’ in terms of staying on track to send the package to auction by July 1, hoping to fulfill a contract. award date of August 15 and start of construction in September.

“The project must, by July 1, have a special permit in hand … which exceeds the 20-day appeal period,” Singer said. “That’s the math we have to undertake.”

The ultimate goal, said members of the fire station building committee, is for the project to be completed within two years. Firefighters expect to use the temporary fire station on Hope Street, which was built to make way for the construction of the new Greenfield. Public library on Main Street.

Earlier in the evening, the fire station construction committee met to consider the budget – of which Owner Project Manager (OPM) Neil Joyce said $3.05 million had been spent so far. day, largely incurred by site acquisition, construction of the temporary fire station, and ongoing rental and lease payments for the structures, as well as design and OPM fees – and the overall progress of the design and tendering process.

The overall budget of $18 million for the fire hall, which is expected to be built on Main Street near Coombs Avenue, includes $2 million for the construction of the temporary fire hall on Hope Street, in addition construction of the new barracks, professional fees and provident funds.

Mayor Roxann Wedegartner shared with the committee that a potential grant has been identified to help fund the cost of certain aspects of the project such as the generator, storage shed or emergency operations center.

“I want to thank (Firehouse Building Committee member Jennifer Stromsten) for referring us to the United States (Department of Agriculture),” the mayor said.

Wedegartner said that after speaking with Tricia Anderson, a USDA representative, she heard about the Community Facilities Direct Loans and Grants program.

“It’s a significant amount of money,” Wedegartner said, explaining that about $1 million is available through the grant program.

Although the grant requires matching, Wedegartner relayed Anderson’s assurance that the $16 million the city committed to the project would be considered the city’s matching.

The plan is to submit the grant application, asking for $700,000, by the last week of May, according to Wedegartner.

“We will probably have access, before too long, to additional money for many of the important things that we need that don’t have to be funded by the town of Greenfield,” she said, relaying that Anderson felt the city had a good chance of getting the money.

Greenfield also applied for another grant from the Congressional Expenditure Fund, she added.

“It’s pandemic money,” Wedegartner explained. “We submitted this $900,000 grant a few weeks ago specifically to help build the fire station, but primarily the EOC. … Those are the two (grants) we’ve done, and I’m very hopeful.

Journalist Mary Byrne can be reached at [email protected] or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne