Bedford approves new $15M firehouse and emergency services department

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The Bedford Fire Department is getting a new firehouse and emergency services department, as residents approved the proposal in a special vote Tuesday night by a vote of 895-457.

Fire officials told News 12 that the bond will cost nearly $15 million, which is about 16% lower than the original amount that was vetoed in April. They say the cost is less than $300 a year per household, which comes to about 82 cents a day.

Chief Andrew Klein said he and his department of 60 other members, all were happy to see that 895 people voted in favor of the project, as just last April a $17 million project failed by a few dozen votes. A Facebook post stated that the volunteers are grateful to the many citizens who were involved in the development of the project to replace the 90-year-old firehouse.

They told News 12 that their trucks can barely fit inside because the house was built back in 1929, when smaller vehicles were used. And since there were no women firefighters at that time, there’s no women’s bathroom and no shower to wash off chemical and debris. The new location will also add a way to emit exhaust fumes from the firetrucks, a room with firefighter gear closer to the trucks and much more space, as the building will double the space they currently have.

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“I think that the firehouse is antiquated,” resident Mary Riechers said. “The guys don’t have enough room. I don’t want us to have to hire a professional fire department, and I think the location is fine. I read all the literature and I decided to vote yes.”

The new house and emergency services department will be built on a track of land at 550 Old Post Road. There is no word yet on exactly when construction will begin.

“If you look at the facilities we have over there now, compared to even Bedford Hills or any of the other surrounding towns, it’s kind of a no-brainer,” resident Edward Baumgatner said. “We need it.”

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