Windsor Locks (CT) Consider Cheaper Plan for New EMS Facility

The photo shows the front of a white ambulance with the word
File Photo

Susan Danseyar

Journal Inquirer, Manchester, Conn.

(MCT)

The Board of Selectmen is considering a revised plan for a new emergency medical services facility that would cost $3.8 million rather than the estimated $6.6 million as proposed by the Public Safety Facilities Committee.

Everyone agrees that the Windsor Locks Lions Club Ambulance Corps’s current 1,268-square-foot facility on Spring Street is inadequate, First Selectman J. Christopher Kervick said during a selectman’s meeting last week.

He said the Lions Club is unable to provide two fully-staffed ambulances because the facility is without adequate sleeping quarters, bathrooms, and showers.

However, Kervick said, the Public Safety Facilities Committee’s proposed 9,784-square-foot facility with a 40-seat training classroom, four bays that are 18-by-40-feet, and doors that are 14-feet wide may not be the prudent way for the town to proceed.

Kervick said that since the committee presented its recommendation to the selectmen, he and Selectman Paul Harrington have been getting feedback and think there’s a better way to get the facility faster and at far less cost.

NEW AMBULANCE FACILITY

PROPOSED: Public Safety Facilities Committee has recommended a 9,784-square-foot facility at a cost of $6.6 million.

ALTERNATIVE: The Board of Selectmen suggest reducing the size and using shared space at a cost of $3.8 million.

NEXT STEPS: Wait for feedback and discuss the matter again at the selectmen meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 5.

The plan Kervick and Harrington have been studying would be to pay $3.8 million in cash for a new facility at the pubic safety complex on Volunteer Drive where the town has a 9-bay garage already on site.

The police and emergency management now use most of the bays, he said, but when the police move to a new facility they will vacate the bays.

“Why not use those if possible and reduce the number?” he asked.

In addition, Kervick said that building the facility at the public safety complex would allow for ambulance and fire personnel to share the new 100-seat training classroom planned for the redesigned fire station.

This alternate proposal reduces the four bays to two and eliminates the need for a 40-seat training facility.

Harrington said that not only would this concept cost much less but it would also mean there would not be a need for personnel to be moved during the 18-month construction period that the committee’s plan would require.

Kervick said this would be a project the town pays cash to build. Money could come from various sources, including the sale of the town’s cellphone tower lease and use of the Rainy Day Fund.

Harrington advised letting the idea percolate a bit and proposed that the selectmen discuss it again at their next meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 5.

For more coverage of Somers and Ellington, follow Susan Danseyar on Twitter: @susandanseyar, Facebook: Susan Danseyar, reporter.

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