DRYDEN, 9/5/08 -- At the Neptune Hose Fire Company in Dryden on Thursday, State Senator James L. Seward (R/I/C-Oneonta) announced $ 100,000 in capital funding for the fire department's expansion and renovation of its firehouse. Seward spoke to more than 42 members of the department. He was introduced by President William Ackroyd.
"Property tax relief -- that's the issue," Seward said. "It's about helping firefighters do their job -- protecting lives and property, without hitting the local property tax levy. It means better facilities that meet code and an improved ability to handle local emergencies."
Following the announcement, Seward toured the building project with Jim Drew and discussed the improvements.
In 2006, a committee of members was formed to evaluate the existing facility built in 1976. After much study, the committee recommended expanding and renovating the current facility. Bays will be enlarged, larger doors installed, more storage space added for turnout gear, and the communications room and emergency operations center will be enhanced. In addition, various portions of the building do not meet current OSHA requirements.
Seward is chairman of the Senate Task Force on Volunteer Emergency Services. He previously chaired the special senate task force on state and local emergency preparedness, formed after the September 11 attack on New York City, which developed guidelines and recommendations for enhancing the preparedness of communities to meet natural and man-made disasters. One of the panel's recommendations was to ensure that local first responders have updated and code-compliant facilities and equipment.
The cost of the rehabilitation is estimated at $400,000, with local funds paying the non-senate share of the project.
Neptune Hose Company #1 is a private, nonprofit company established in the 1800s and incorporated in 1939 to provide fire protection to the residents of the village and town of Dryden. Ambulance service was added in 1976, and is provided by contract to the village and town of Dryden, and some surrounding towns as well.
The funding is from the state's capital program for economic assistance.