Fire Station No. 2 moves further along

“We fully expect the request for proposals to go out next week,” Rich McCarty, chairman of the Firehouse No. 2 Committee, said on May 19.

Chris Burney, the town’s facilities director, was to issue the requests for proposals. Burney’s advertisement appears in the legal notices of the Wilton Bulletin today.

The committee expects to consider the responses to the proposals at its meeting June 21. “And we’ll make a recommendation on who the town should retain,” McCarty said.

The goal is to get the project budget finalized in time for the budget season next year.

The biggest news so far this year is that fire officials have finally found a source of clean well water for Fire Station 2. Chief Ronald Kanterman said in January that a clean well has been dug near the station at 688 Ridgefield Road, land that is owned by the Wilton Land Conservation Trust and for which permission has been given for use.

“Our water was contaminated. The way everything goes, without clean well water the whole project was on hold. What’s the point of renovating without water?” Kanterman said.

Firefighters at Station 2 now drink water from a tank.

Now that potable water has been secured, the next step is for the architectural firm to update the mechanical requirements of the fire station, such as plumbing and electrical work. And they are still figuring out a way to get the water to the station, McCarty said.

The architects will also figure out what the renovation project will cost.

This is a major move forward for Fire Station 2 since Kanterman announced late last year that two unisex bathrooms that can accommodate males, females and transgender individuals are included in the latest requirements for the building at 707 Ridgefield Road.

“There will be a sign that will say unisex facility, with a lock on the door,” Kanterman said at the time. “It’s for whenever I hire firefighters, whenever that is going to be. I don’t care what they look like or how they go to the toilet. It’s how they perform the job.”

There are no female or transgender firefighters at this moment, but that could change.

“We have to be prepared to have bathrooms, showers, lockers, where people can have privacy,” Kanterman said.

Wilton voters last year approved a $90,000 bond authorization to complete architectural and engineering schematics for the firehouse renovation.