Voters Approve Westhampton Beach Firehouse Plans

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UPDATE, 9:45 p.m.:

Voters approved the proposal, 286-156, fire district officials announced at about 9:20 p.m., drawing applause at the firehouse.

In total, 442 people turned out to cast their ballot, a small percentage of the roughly 4,000 registered in the Westhampton Beach Fire District.

“I’m glad it finally happened,” Commissioner Fred Overton said.

He said the next step is for the architects to begin drawing up the plans, though he said he doesn’t expect construction to begin until next spring.

Fire Department Chief Chip Bancroft said he was pleased with the result, and added that he is looking forward to utilizing the new structure, which will offer the department more space and a safer atmosphere.

“I can’t say enough for the effort that they put forward and the due diligence that they did,” he said, thanking the fire district commissioners. “It had to be done.”

ORIGINAL STORY:

Registered voters in the Westhampton Beach Fire District will head to the polls on Tuesday to cast their ballots on the proposed $15.7 million firehouse proposal.

The polls will be open from 3 to 9 p.m. at the Sunset Avenue firehouse in Westhampton Beach. The district spans Westhampton Beach, Westhampton and Quiogue.

The project, which would be paid for with a 20-year bond, calls for the demolition of the current 59-year-old firehouse and replacing it with a 27,000-square-foot, two-story facility that will be large enough to accommodate the fire department’s entire fleet of emergency response vehicles.

If approved, the project is expected to raise the fire district tax rate to 47 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, up from the current rate of 32 cents. A resident whose home is assessed at $600,000 can expect to pay about $282 in fire district taxes each year, or $90 more than they now do.

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