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Firefighters get temporary quarters

BRATTLEBORO—Because the contractors renovating the Central Fire Station on Elliot Street have worked so well together, the division between Phase I and Phase II of the project has blurred, said Town Manager Peter Elwell.

But, he said, the construction has left the building temporarily unhealthy for firefighters.

To provide overnight quarters for on-duty firefighters, Elwell has contacted officials with the Brattleboro Housing Partnership to see if they had any vacancies at the Samuel Elliot Apartment building, located next to the fire station.

They didn’t, Elwell told Selectboard members at their Sept. 5 meeting, but they offered firefighters a four-bedroom apartment at the Moore Court housing complex around the corner. The unit is vacant because the BHP wants to prepare it for the next tenants. Firefighters have already moved in and expect to be there for two more weeks.

“We’ll clean it up real nice when we leave and get back into the fire station,” Elwell said.

“We want to publicly express our gratitude to the Brattleboro Housing Partnership for rising to the occasion,” Elwell said.

The Board voted to approve $33,000 for an expansion of the Plymovent vehicle exhaust system at the Central Fire Station.

The Board unanimously authorized expenditures of $55,000 for the demolition of the old West Brattleboro Fire Station and construction of a new parking lot, drainage, and landscape improvements. Elwell noted these actions are all in compliance with the Development Review Board’s approval of this project.

The town will “still have approximately $200,000 left at the end of [construction] that will be available for reallocation,” Elwell said.

Elwell announced some of the Police Department’s units have already moved in to the new station at 62 Black Mountain Road, and some remain in the municipal building, at least for the next few weeks.

He invited the public to a ceremony outside the new station on Friday, Sept. 15. At 3 p.m., Elwell said, “we’ll cut a ribbon and push a button and open the doors of the police department to the public.” Officials will give tours of the new facility from 3 to 7 p.m. and serve refreshments.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #425 (Wednesday, September 13, 2017). This story appeared on page C1.

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