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Local fire station holds public informational meeting as it looks to relocate

Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 10:48 PM EST
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VESTAL (WBNG) -- At 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 11, residents met at the Vestal Fire Department’s Station 4 for a public informational meeting.

The plan, if approved, is to relocate from the Vestal Parkway East location to South Jensen Road.

To get to this point, the replacement project has been over a decade in the making.

“We’ve been talking about the concept of a new Station 4 since 2004,” said Fire Chief John Paffie. “There have been several things that have come along the way, from different supervisors to mother nature, the 100-year flood, and now the pandemic that has moved the project back.”

Chief Paffie spoke with 12 News about the meeting’s role in the entire process. “Bring the public up to the awareness of what we’re doing, what we want to do, and why we want to do it,” he said.

Some of the reasons brought up for the new site include a lack of space, deterioration of the structure, and no handicap-accessible meeting space.

“And we simply can’t put that footprint of a modern station on this lot,” said Vern Myers, the town engineer for Vestal.

While residents that spoke up today agreed the volunteers deserve the best facility, the location was up for debate.

“And first of all, it’s further from the Vestal Parkway. Response time is going to be slightly longer,” said one attendee.

“The town has taken longer than I’ve been here looking at lots. Lots of lots... That isn’t the perfect place. There’s no perfect place on the Vestal Parkway,” said Myers.

As for the taxpayer, Chief Paffie said there will be no additional requests for money. “Your fire taxes will remain the same going forward from here on out,” he said.

The vote for the referendum will be held on Jan. 25 at Vestal Station 1 from noon until 9 p.m.

If approved, the goal is to break ground in May or June.