Discussions have resumed within the Mattituck Fire District regarding a possible expansion of the existing firehouse, nine months after a bond proposal was defeated.
In June of 2022, voters rejected an $11 million expansion project in a 71-to-50 vote, and now the district commissioners have decided to launch a series of meetings with department volunteers to review the former proposal and gather input as to what adjustments may be needed to the plan, according to an announcement this week.
“Over the past 94 years, fire services have drastically changed,” said Fire Commissioner Chairman Jason Haas. “Not only is today’s modern fire equipment larger, but safety standards have evolved and our community’s demands on emergency services are greater.”
Another building was added in 1968 to accommodate large trucks at the time, according to a history of the department. In 1996, the west truck bay was built for an even bigger fleet, and in 2005 a new radio room was added to house state-of-the-art radio communications equipment.
However, the building still poses new challenges to the volunteers who serve the community due to mandated safety regulations, spatial limitations and outdated building systems.
The number of emergency calls to the fire department has increased 25% since 2013 alone, from 548 to 683.
“We look forward to engaging our volunteers in the process of revisiting what they need to best meet the needs of our community,” said Haas.
The original proposal included merging three parcels on Pike Street, for a combined 2.28 acres, relocating the original firehouse and demolishing an accessory building currently used as a district office. An expansion on the existing firehouse would have grossed 13,260 square feet for four pull-through truck bays, offices and accessory spaces, with an additional 10 parking spots and access to Route 25, according to The Suffolk Times last year.
No date has been set for a new vote, yet.
The fire district has pledged to keep the residents updated on the project and plans to hold a community meeting at a later date to review the revised proposal and address questions.
Residents should be on the lookout for information in the mail and announcements on the district’s new Facebook page.