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Feb 25, 2009 1:00 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Village approves architect fees for fire house

Feb 25, 2009 1:00 PM

The Southampton Fire Department is inching closer to getting a new firehouse, but one that would be scaled far back from a plan department leaders put forth two years ago that would have quadrupled the size of their Hampton Road substation.

Southampton Village Board members agreed Tuesday to hire Ashley McGraw Architects of Aquebogue to redraft plans for a 22,000-square-foot firehouse to replace the aging Hampton Road station, which was built in 1959 and no longer meets occupational safety standards. The new plans will separate the construction into two phases. The first phase would result in an up-to-code building the firefighters can use as they wait for the day taxpayers sign off on building them a new headquarters

The second phase would add meeting rooms and other facilities to the substation, upgrading it to serve as the fire department headquarters. The current headquarters is on Windmill Lane, but department leaders have warned that it could be flooded during a hurricane.

At the request of Fire Chief Roy Wines IV, the Village Board approved spending $9,750 to commission the modified plans and pay related expenses.

The chief noted that one year ago, the Village Board approved spending $9,500 of the fire department’s capital reserve fund on a three-dimensional model of what the completed firehouse would look like. He said the model was put on hold, but the department would like to go through with ordering it from the architect now so the community has a visual idea of what it will be paying for.

Also on Tuesday, the Village Board approved the creation of two village trust funds, one for a new firehouse and one for a base for the Southampton Village Volunteer Ambulance. The trusts were established so that if an individual or business wants to donate money to either cause, the village can accept it.

Chief Wines also asked for and got permission from the board to seek price quotes for escape harnesses. He said New York State has mandated that, starting this year, all fire departments that serve areas with buildings three stories or taller must provide harnesses for firefighters who enter those buildings, so they can lower themselves to safety if they are stuck on an upper floor. The chief said the department set aside $50,000 for harnesses last year in anticipation of the mandate, which he said many fire districts in the state are fighting because of the cost.

“A lot of these districts have the money,” he said. “They just don’t want to part with it.”

Police Matters

In other business, the Village Board unanimously agreed to hire T.L.P. Technologies of Westhampton Beach at a rate of $90 per hour, for a total not to exceed $13,500.

Village Police Chief Dispatcher Wayne Petry asked the board for permission to hire the consultant to study the village’s public safety radio communications system and plan an upgrade of the transmitters. The board agreed, citing failures of the existing system last year.

“It could break down at any time,” Mr. Petry told the board. “Parts are not available.”

In a letter to the board this week, Mr. Petry wrote that when he requested a new system last year the estimated cost was $165,000. “Now costs are close to $215,000 and rising.”

The board also signed off on increasing tow and impound fees at the request of Police Chief William Wilson. The village was charging $150 per daytime tow and $175 after 6 p.m., according to police department clerk Laura Sikorsky, but all of those fees went to the towing company. Now, the fee will be $325 regardless of the time of day, with the village earning as much as $150 per tow.

Chief Wilson predicted the police would impound at least 400 vehicles in 2009, which would have the potential of generating about $60,000 for the village.

The board also accepted Chief Wilson’s request to increase the impound charge from $10 per day to $25.

“So far to date, we’ve impounded 64 vehicles,” Chief Wilson said. He said the village impound behind the police station on Windmill Lane is overflowing because of new Suffolk County laws that require police to impound every car involved in a DWI arrest and cars driven by an unlicensed driver with a previous conviction. The police also started using a license plate reader in September that flags vehicles with suspended registrations and other violations, resulting in even more impounds.

Chief Wilson said he hopes the increased fees will motivate drivers to pick up their impounded cars earlier and

to get their driver’s licenses in the first place.

B

each Fees Set

Also during the meeting Tuesday, the Village Board adopted the 2009 beach-parking fee schedule. Non-resident parking passes for the summer were raised from $200 per car to $225, but veterans and seniors older than 65 will have to pay only $175 for the first car. They will have to pay full price for any additional parking stickers.

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Why isn't the village using local Architects? Why are you paying a company from somewhere else?
By local (106), north sea on Feb 25, 09 6:20 PM