PITTSFORD — The town is considering moving the Florence Fire Department Substation.
Town Manager John Haverstock said Friday the one-bay facility is currently on property owned by the Omya in Florence, which is part of Pittsford. Haverstock said it provides fire coverage not only for the Omya plant, but for other areas of town on the west side of Otter Creek.
He said the town leases the facility from Omya. It hasn’t been determined where a new facility would go, or its dimensions. He told the Select Board at its March 20 meeting that he and other town officials met with Omya employees March 18 to begin the discussion.
Fire Chief Bill Hemple said Friday the idea behind moving the facility is to make it easier and safer for the firetruck to leave the station. He said there have never been any issues, but there is real concern that Omya trucks, and the nearby railroad, could make deploying the truck a hazard.
Hemple said the plan is in its early stages. He said working with Omya over the years has been good, and the company has been quite willing to accommodate the fire department whenever needed.
Haverstock said he thinks it’s possible to build a new, similarly sized substation elsewhere on Omya property, in a spot where trucks could move with less concern of conflicting with Omya vehicles and trains. He said it’s too early in the process to know what this would cost.
According to its website, Omya is a global company with headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio. At its Vermont plant, it quarries marble in order to produce calcium carbonate, a substance used on various consumer products. It employs more than 120 people.
With regard to other town facilities, funding for what will be the town’s new salt shed has been secured. Haverstock said he’s reported to the Select Board that with a $189,000 grant from the state, the project has the money it needs to be built. He said it’s expected to cost around $650,000. Two other state grants make up the rest of the funding. Each requires a 20% match from the town, meaning it will have to come up with about $130,000. He said there’s money in the highway budget specifically earmarked for grant matches.
The current sand and salt pile is at the transfer station. Haverstock said the new shed will be built near it, with a footprint of 140 feet by 60 feet. It will consist of cement walls, a steel frame and fabric roof. He said the shed will hold sand and salt, allow for mixing of the two, and make it easier to load town trucks in winter. It will also keep runoff out of the watershed.
He said the state is reviewing the town’s plans and will hopefully issue a permit so the shed can be built this fall.