A new 17,500 square foot headquarters for the Wallkill Fire District is set to be built on the Borden family property in Shawangunk after District 64 voters approved the funding of the firehouse by a 175-123 margin in a special election on Tuesday. Taxpayers approved $5,582,469 in borrowed funds for the new firehouse, and the district will contribute $1,500,000 in reserve funds to finance the project. A total of 298 ballots were cast in the election, representing a 10 percent voter turnout.
The new firehouse will be funded via a 30-year bond, and as a result of the balloting, fire taxes for local voters will increase $1.65 from the current rate per thousand of $6.38 to $8.03. The current firehouse, which is located across the street from Shawangunk Town Hall, was built in 1964, and was in need of extensive repairs, including needed upgrades to the facility’s roof and restrooms. The town has expressed possible interest in purchasing the property and converting it into a new police headquarters.
District fire officials were thrilled to get the go-ahead for the project. “The taxpayers have spoken,” Fire District Commissioner Michael Croce said. “We think we put forth a relatively good plan and now we go forward and hopefully we can start construction sometime next year. The Planning Board is our next stop.”
The project was long in the works, but will now finally become a reality. “It was probably close to 18-20 years from the first time this started,” Croce said. “This present board has been working on it for maybe two years. So this is good news.”