Fire Station No. 2 Building Committee formed

By unanimous vote, town executives at their Jan. 19 meeting made the first four appointments to a building committee that will be responsible for leading the Fire Station No. 2 improvement project if it is approved.

Appointed were David Waters, Philip Reeves, Richard McCarty, and Ross Tartell.

At the Annual Town Meeting in May 2015, a Wilton Fire Department bonding request of $90,000 to perform an architectural and engineering study of the station was authorized by a majority vote — 779 for, 509 against.

Most recently, the Board of Selectmen approved a revised statement of requirements for the renovation at its meeting on Aug. 3, 2015. Former First Selectman Bill Brennan said that night that a building committee would “likely” need to be formed.

While additional investments must be approved by voters, the five-year capital improvement plan compiled for last year’s town meeting, in addition to $90,000 in 2016, proposes $600,000 in bonds for Fire Station No. 2 improvements in 2017, and $310,000 for 2018, a total of $1 million.

Before casting it, Selectman Michael Kaelin at the Jan. 19 meeting said his vote was dependent on at least one person from the Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps being appointed to the Fire Station No. 2 Building Committee.

“I have no problem voting for these individuals for the Fire Station No. 2 Building Committee tonight,” Kaelin said, “so long as it does not preclude us from adding someone from the Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps to this committee.”

First Selectman Lynne Vanderslice assured him, “We can add more people; there’s no cap on it.” With that, Kaelin felt comfortable voting and voted yes to all appointments considered on Jan. 19.

Via email, Kaelin told The Bulletin, "I would like to consider all the possible uses for the firehouse on Ridgefield Road before making a major investment in renovating it.

"Among other things, I would like to know whether it makes sense and would benefit the town to have an ambulance based at the firehouse on Ridgefield Road.

"I would like someone from the Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps on the building committee to hear their views on how best to use this facility, whether it should be designed for both the Fire Department and Ambulance Corps to use it, and what are the costs and benefits of doing that."