Voters in Southampton Village approved a proposal to build a new $5.5 million headquarters for the Southampton Village Volunteer Ambulance on Friday night, 219-100.
Village officials said they hope construction will begin on the 10,000-square-foot building as soon as possible, with plans to have the facility up and running by August 2016. The new headquarters will be on Windmill Lane, between the Village Police Department headquarters and Lola Prentice Park. A 20-year bond will pay for its construction.
Under current projections, the owners of a house valued at $1 million would pay approximately $146 per year in property taxes over the length of the bond toward the project.
“Our entire department is very pleased that the new headquarters was passed,” Chief Rick Fowler said this week. “We are very excited to move forward with this long-awaited project. We would like to thank everyone who came out to support us and for responding to our call for help.”
The idea of a new ambulance building had been on and off the village agenda for several years, with officials first considering moving the department into an old fire department building. However, that building would not have met space requirements for storage, vehicle parking and training.
When it replaces the current facility on Meeting House Lane, which opened in 1993, the new building will house the company’s 60 volunteers.
“We are very happy that the voters recognized the importance of this and that it is a good investment,” Village Mayor Mark Epley said after the vote. “We have a very good department here.”
This week, Chief Fowler said he is happy the ambulance company will have a headquarters to fit its growing needs. He said the new building will provide ample storage and meeting space for the department and also serve the entire community by offering meeting space, and safety and first aid classes.
“This new headquarters will help us volunteers continue to provide the best care and treatment possible, and will allow us to keep up with the advances and new requirements in emergency care,” the chief said.