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Greenwich Selectmen Approve Central Fire Station

The Greenwich Board of Selectmen has begun the approval process for a new $20.5 million Central Fire Station. “This is the first step in many steps that a project such as this is required to go to,” First Selectman Peter Tesei said of the selectmen’s vote granting Municipal Improvement Status for the project.

The next stop is the Planning and Zoning Commission, whose approval would set in motion plans to demolish the 39,500-square-foot Central Fire Station to make way for a new one. The replacement would consist of three floors, a 32,540-square-foot basement level for storage and a 3,000-square-foot mechanical penthouse.

The new station would be set back 52 feet from the curb of Havemeyer Place to allow exiting fire trucks to turn onto the street safely. It would also create a larger space for inspecting fire equipment and vehicles and for an underground vault for an electric transformer and backup generator.

The Greenwich Preservation Trust and the Historic District Commission both oppose replacing the 74 year old fire station, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Preservation Trust chair Jo Conboy has said the fire station is the only Art Deco civic structure in Greenwich.

Selectman Drew Marzullo said the two groups were just  doing their job trying to preserve a historical building. “You’re by no means trying to block firefighters from moving into headquarters they deserve,” said Marzullo.

First Selectman Peter Tesei made a deal in March with Republicans on the Board of Estimate and Taxation to delay construction of a new fire station until fiscal year 2014. That timetable would remain in effect if Planning and Zoning approves the project. Earlier in May, the Representative Town Meeting approved a plan to move the Central Fire Station to temporary quarters at the Horseneck Lane commuter parking lot.

What do you think of the outcome of the board's vote? Comment below or send responses to ahelhoski@mainstreetconnect.us.

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