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New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, July 22, 2010

New $1.3M firehouse planned for Onesquethaw

By Saranac Hale Spencer

NEW SCOTLAND — Volunteer firefighters want to replace a roughly 60-year-old firehouse in Feura Bush with a larger $1 million firehouse in the next few years.

The Onesquethaw Volunteer Fire Company, which has three firehouses in southeast New Scotland, plans to hold an informational meeting for residents of the fire district on Aug. 2.

The company bought property at the intersection of Unionville Road and Route 32 in 2004 and is now proceeding with plans for building a firehouse.  The new location is less than half a mile from the existing Feura Bush firehouse, guessed Mike Dorgan, president of the fire company.

“It was the appropriate size when we built it,” Dorgan said of the current structure, but it was “built for smaller vehicles.”

The fire company has five trucks and an ambulance, he said.  The ambulance usually rotates among the three firehouses, except it can’t fit in either of the two bays in Feura Bush.  The fire truck there is about 20 years old, he said — the department usually keeps to a 21-year replacement cycle, but will wait until the construction is complete to get a new truck in Feura Bush. 

Although the national standard is 17 years, Dorgan said, the Onesquethaw Fire Company will likely change to a 25-year cycle since the truck bodies are now made out of aluminum, which doesn’t rust like the galvanized steel bodies did.

The fire company isn’t expecting to raise taxes, Dorgan said; the 67 volunteers in the department raised $48,000 in 2009, largely through pancake breakfasts and chicken barbecues.  If that kind of funding persists, it should cover the $1.3 million expected cost of the project, he said.

The new building will be 7,200 square feet in total with three bays and a meeting room as well as a sprinkler system in case of fire.

Organized in 1942, the Onesquethaw Fire Company reported 128 fire calls in 2008 and 200 ambulance calls in the same year.

The all-volunteer company, which has 67 members, will hold a meeting at the Feura Bush firehouse on Aug. 2 at 7 p.m.

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