MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. – Building improvements are on the horizon for Mount Kisco's three firehouses.
The village's fire commissioners met with the Village Board of Trustees on Monday night to discuss financing for various construction projects under consideration. The mayor told commissioners he will be preparing a request for proposals (RFP) to begin the bidding process after receiving their feedback.
One proposal is to build truck/apparatus bay expansions for two of the department's headquarters: the Union Hook and Ladder and Rescue Police, housed at 29 Green St. and commissioned by Gary Ford, and the Independent Fire Company at 322 Lexington Ave., commissioned by Francis Mannion.
Other tasks proposed include making the buildings ADA compliant by outfitting them with elevators and ramps for the disabled, and, in this case, for elderly veteran firefighters.
The 200-volunteer department serves residents of Mount Kisco and parts of Bedford and New Castle. It is made up of four member companies each with their own commissioner: Union Hook & Ladder Co. No. 1, Mutual Engine & Hose Co. No. 1; Independent Fire Company; and Rescue Fire Police.
All firehouses are village property, and the departments' commissioners are appointed by the village for four-year terms, .
Cindrich said the village of Mount Kisco will be reaching out to Bedford and New Castle for help with funding the possible bond issue, after reviewing the existing cost sharing agreement with the towns.
"We would be looking for their help in keeping the companies going," Cindrich said.
The four departments operate out of three fire stations located in the south, north and central parts of town.
Some other proposals include basic safety-related projects such as roof and fire escape repair and putting in an elevator at the Mutual Engine & Hose Company on Main Street. The village would also like to switch the buildings' heating system from oil to natural gas for cost and efficiency.
The next step in the process, Cindrich said, is hiring an architect to put together a preliminary design and then a construction manger to look over the design and estimate costs.
In the meantime, the fire commissioners will talk to their chiefs to get a better sense of each department's specific needs and make up a list to show trustees. Cindrich said, "We're very much concerned with maintaining the bond rating of the village,” which has been raised twice since he took office. He said he will continue to make sure new projects are pursued after bonds from previous projects reach maturity, but safety projects will always remain highest priority.
Cindrich suggested the village might be able to expect government money from FEMA to fund some of the projects oriented toward hazard prevention, such as planning for a more accessible emergency operations center, a need recognized during Hurricane Sandy.