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Early Concept, Cost Estimate Revealed For Saratoga Springs Fire Station Project

A slide from construction firm Hueber-Breuer showing a concept footprint for a proposed fire station in Saratoga Springs
A slide from construction firm Hueber-Breuer showing a concept footprint for a proposed fire station in Saratoga Springs

A proposed east-side fire station in Saratoga Springs took another step toward reality Tuesday night.

For years, the Saratoga Springs City Council has been seeking to locate a third fire/EMS station to serve the eastern plateau and bolster emergency services city-wide.

The station is envisioned for a piece of state-owned land on Henning Road through an agreement with the city approved in April.

Tuesday night, Sean Foran of firm Hueber-Breuer walked city councilors through a presentation that included a basic footprint for the facility on the 2.36-acre lot.

Foran presented a concept for a nearly 16,000-square foot facility, with a 90 by 64 foot fire bay. With a preliminary cost estimate of $6.7 million, Foran said his firm would work to find additional savings.

“For every thousand square feet we can reduce this building by, we can reduce the budget by approximately $400,000. So we’re going to continue to look at space analysis and see how we can do things smarter and better, but we do need some design help at this point to better that effort and to narrow-in better on that budget,” said Foran.

Foran said he brought members of the Saratoga Springs city fire department to tour fire stations in Syracuse. Hueber-Breuer has worked on five stations in the Capital Region.

With the coronavirus pandemic putting pressure on the economy, Foran advised the city to move swiftly, as he predicted interest rates would remain at their lowest in the months ahead.

“This could be a hundreds of thousands of benefit to the city in the long run, I believe, if we can issue this RFP and review in the June, July time-frame versus fall or winter when things might change,” said Foran.

Public Safety Commissioner Robin Dalton was supportive of moving swiftly toward a design phase. She said design information would be needed to seek grant funding.

“They’re going to require some very specific and basic design plans. And if we don’t have those, we can’t start that process of trying to get grant money from the feds and from the state,” said Dalton.

Dalton addressed possible concerns over the cost of the project.

“No extra money is being spent right now by the city. This is all part of an RFP that was put out last year that has been answered by Hueber-Breuer, because I know that, I’m sure we will get some people who are thinking we are continuing to spend money on the project…”

On Tuesday night, the city council approved several actions intended to offset the financial impact of the pandemic on city revenues, including employee furloughs and departmental cuts. Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan has estimated the pandemic will have an impact of $15 to $17 million on the 2020 budget.

Madigan said she appreciated Foran’s work on reducing the potential cost of the fire station.

“I know you can build a fire station for a lot more money than this, so I appreciate the care and detail that you’ve put in, focusing on this budget,” said Madigan.

In March, a group of residents sent a letter to the city with concerns about a fire station project, citing zoning, noise, traffic, and potential impact on NYRA’s Oklahoma training track.

In April, city officials countered, saying community reception has been mostly positive, and that the city has been in conversation with NYRA on developing the proposal.

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