Voters have spoken, again, and it was another hard “no” for the Mattituck firehouse expansion project proposal.
In a vote on Tuesday, Oct. 24, a $13 million referendum was defeated, 423-to-112.
“Thank you to all residents who participated in the bond referendum vote today for the firehouse expansion,” the Mattituck Fire District Board of Commissioners said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The Board of Fire Commissioners will now regroup to discuss its next steps. We will keep the community updated with any developments,” it continued.
The vote came a year and a half after voters rejected an initial expansion proposal. At the time, the project would have cost $11 million when a 71-to-50 vote was delivered.
But the board of fire commissioners, which oversees the Mattituck Fire Department, decided to try again given that it says the firehouse no longer meets the needs of the fire department and presents safety challenges to volunteers.
“Changes in mandated safety regulations, spatial limitations and outdated building systems are posing serious challenges,” chairman of the board Jason Haas said in a statement in September, after the board set a vote.
The board was seeking a $13 million capital bond referendum for the project, which was estimated would cost a total of $15.5 million. The district has about $2.5 million in its building reserve fund already.
Revised plans included renovating the current firehouse, just around the corner from Main Road and Love Lane, and building a two-story addition to the existing building, according to a press release earlier this fall. The original firehouse, built in 1929, would have been relocated elsewhere on the property and the building currently being used as the district office would have been demolished, if voters had approved the bond.