Journal Inquirer, Manchester, Conn.
Mar. 16—TOLLAND — From leaking roofs to crumbing foundations to a suitable space for decontamination, three of the town’s four fire stations are in dire need of upgrades, town officials say.
In his five-year Capital Improvement Plan, Town Manager Michael Rosen has recommended the Town Council borrow $5 million for a Firehouse Capital Improvement project to upgrade and correct issues at station No. 140, 340, and 440.
Last week, the Town Council unanimously approved setting a public hearing on the plan for 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 23. Following the public hearing, the council will decide whether or not to send the project to a May 4 referendum.
WHAT: Public hearing on a $5 million Firehouse Capital Improvement project
WHY: Officials say three of the town’s four fire stations are in dire need of upgrades
WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 23
Fire Chief John Littell and members of the Tolland Fire Department are expected to show a video that explains and shows the problems facing the three fire stations.
Station No. 140 at 64 Crystal Lake Road, erected in 1995, needs more space for proper storage of apparatus, light miscellaneous equipment, supplies and living area. The station lacks proper sleeping quarters in the event a career or volunteer staff is required to stay overnight during severe weather or other operations, town officials said.
Station No. 140 also was identified as having a crumbling foundation. Large cracks are visible down the exterior building walls. Although it’s unclear what caused the cracks, town officials say it’s a possible result of a shifting, crumbling foundation. Core samples were taken in May 2019 and confirmed the presence of pyrrhotite, the mineral known to cause concrete to crumble.
Station No. 340 at 247 Gehring Road, erected in October 1975, is in need of an additional truck bay, modern bathrooms and a proper kitchen, officials said. The exterior brick facade is deteriorating and should be covered with vinyl siding before the problem worsens, officials said.
The roof is leaking and needs to be replaced with a pitched, asphalt shingle roof and the station is in dire need of more space and modern upgrades, officials said. An expansion of the truck bay would allow for proper rotation of equipment and allow for inside storage of equipment that is kept outside.
Bathrooms and kitchens are “desperately” in need of upgrades, officials said. The kitchen consists of a stove in the apparatus bay.
Station No. 440 at 107 Plains Road, erected in July 1989 is in need of an additional truck bay, modern bathrooms and a proper kitchen, officials said. Like station No. 340, it also has a deteriorating brick facade that should be covered with vinyl siding before it gets worse. The roof also needs to be replaced with a pitched, asphalt shingle roof. The station also needs updated kitchen and bathroom facilities, which are in poor condition and are less than adequate for today’s need, according to town and fire officials.
For more information, a break down of the costs, or pictures of firehouse renderings, go to:
For updates on the towns of Coventry and Tolland, follow Michelle France on Twitter: @MFranceReport, Facebook: Michelle France, and Instagram: @MFranceReport.
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