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Voters approve appropriations for fire station

Date: 4/9/2012

April 9, 2012

By Chris Maza

WILBRAHAM — Residents at the April 2 Special Town Meeting unanimously voted to pass two fund transfers in order to complete the expansion and renovation of the main fire station on Boston Road.

The meeting featured two articles, one requesting $336,860 from the Ambulance Fund and the other asking for $195,000 from the Capital Stabilization Fund to finance eight items that did not fit within the original appropriation of $2.2 million from the Capital Planning Committee for the project.

The Ambulance Fund, which was founded in 1992, is a revolving account supplied by sources such as insurance companies after an ambulance transport and usually is utilized to fund the maintenance of the ambulances.

The Capital Stabilization Fund was created in 2005 in response to a study of the town's major projects. Prior to the approved transfer, it contained approximately $400,000 in funds that had not been used since the creation of the fund.

The eight items, called alternates, would be needed to fully complete the work planned by the committee overseeing the renovations and Tecton Architecture.

"Without the alternates we would have a weather-tight shell and that's all," Fire Chief Francis Nothe said.

Those alternates include a "fit-out" of the living quarters, the construction of the technology infrastructure, an HVAC system upgrade, new glass and aluminum overhead doors, new cabinets, outdoor canopies and a heat-radiant floor in the apparatus bay and landscaping.

"Now that the funding is secured, the Board of Selectmen will award the project to the lowest responsible bidder," Nothe said. The awarding of the bid is listed as an agenda item for the April 9 Board of Selectmen meeting, which will take place at 7 p.m. in the Board of Selectmen's meeting room.

Nothe explained that once the bid is awarded, the committee would enter into an agreement with the general contractor on a work schedule.

"We want to get shovels in the ground as soon as possible," he said. "The architect said the work could take up to nine months to complete, but we hope to be able to get some of the trucks and equipment back in the garage bays by fall before any inclement weather."

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