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The East Pembroke fire hall has served the district for 80 years, now consisting of 100 square miles and 5,500 residents. Volunteers respond to 300 calls a year.

Officials are now asking for residents to return the favor and approve a measure to build a brand new 11,000 sq. ft. fire hall for $3 million.

With the recreation hall gutted and filled with support beams and crumbling cement in the basement, Fire District Commissioner Bill Lawrence says a new facility is crucial.

“It’s not a castle,” he said of the proposed space. “It’s a basic building. It’s got stuff we need and stuff we should have had.”

Those things include more room to house fire trucks and rooms for hose drying, decontamination and air packs.

The tax assessment would go up from the current $1.10 per $1,000 of assessed valuation to $1.98. That price includes inflation, new trucks, ongoing maintenance and other expenses.

Lawrence says he understands that number may shock people, but says the department’s been fiscally responsible for a long time.

“We’ve been able to fund the department and fund all of our expenses with our budgets. Our budgets have been running $140-15,000.”

Voters in the Town of Barre, Orleans County, recently turned down a similar proposal that cost much less.

There will be a public information meeting June 18 at St. Mary’s.

(pictured: a view inside via our news partner, The Batavian)

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