CROTON FALLS, N.Y. -- Firefighters in Croton Falls marked a major milestone in their department's history this past Saturday when they dedicated a new firehouse.
The dedication featured a flag raising, presentation of a special plaque and a ribbon cutting.
The new building is located at 1 Sun Valley Drive, which is across the street from the Shell gas station. It was formerly used as a Verizon storage building before it was acquired by the Croton Falls Fire District, which is the entity that governs the fire department.
The new firehouse replaces the old one in downtown Croton Falls, according to Angelo D'Agostino, chairman of the district's Board of Fire Commissioners, who said that it was used for 86 years.
A new firehouse was needed, D'Agostino explained, because newer firetrucks are larger than older ones, which makes it harder to fit the vehicles into the old building's bays. Additionally, the old firehouse does not have enough space for a new firetruck that will be purchased in the near future.
A decommissioning ceremony was held for the old firehouse before a procession was held on Route 22 to the new one, D'Agostino added.
The new firehouse was paid for with $4.5 million in bonding, D'Agostino said, which was allowed due to approval from the voters. Of the amount, around $1.2 million was used to acquire the property, D'Agostino added.
During the ceremony, D'Agostino said that the dedication took place 51 weeks after the groundbreaking. The project came in on time and on budget, D'Agostino noted.
“The team went to work and did a phenomenal job of bringing the plans to life."
The old firehouse, which is located at 1 Front St., is about 4,000 square feet, D'Agostino said, while the new one is about 10,000.
The fire district, according to D'Agostino, owns both the new building and another firehouse, which is located by the intersection of Route 116 and June Road. In contrast, the fire department owns the old downtown firehouse.
The old firehouse is expected to be sold, D'Agostino said.
The new building has a total of six bays; three are in the front while three more are in the back. The firehouse can fit up to nine trucks, or three trucks deep per row, D'Agostino noted.
Features of the new firehouse, D'Agostino told Daily Voice, include a dispatch room, office space for the chiefs, a ready room for firefighters to stay and a fitness center for firefighters to keep in shape.
For Fire Commissioner Drew Outhouse, the new building is a welcome new neighbor. Outhouse, who lives next door to the firehouse, told the crowd at the dedication that his son and family live to his west while his brother and family live to his north.
“So now I have neighbors to the east of me and I love them.”