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Hudson makes case for fire station

By Staff | Feb 28, 2016

HUDSON – Rick Maddox, chairman of the Hudson board of selectman and fire department liaison, released a video presentation explaining the need for construction of new fire station to be located at 204 Lowell Road.

Construction of the station in question will be voted on by residents on the Town Meeting Day warrant on March 8 and is expected to cost approximately $2.2 million. According to the video posted by Maddox, the current fire station can’t be expanded and is far too small for the requirements of the fire department. Maddox said the current station is operating outside its original intentions.

"That station has served us well, but it was built to be a call fire station," he said. "This means if there was an alarm they took the trucks out, fought the fire, went back to the station to clean up and went home. It was never meant to be lived in. The building is cramped. It has a number of failures. It is a tight living space. It is on a well and it has a septic system on site. It is surrounded by wet lands. There is no way to expand."

The proposed new station would include expanded sleeping and living quarters, additional space in the vehicle bays for fire equipment, and dedicated exercise and office space. Building a new station will require the issuance of municipal bonds to raise funds for construction. Maddox said he knows that this is the biggest barrier to moving forward.

"Nobody wants their taxes to go up, and neither do I," he said. "But if we want to have a quality professional fire department, we have to give them the tools to do that. If construction is approved, the average cost to a home owner in the town will be $28 a year."

Maddox also said that increased cost will come with a higher level of service, as the proposed Lowell Road site is more centrally located than the current Burns Hill Road station.

"By moving to Lowell Road we’ll actually get better response times for our citizens," he said. "We own the land on Lowell Road already; it’s a great location. It’s right across from the nursing home. It has a traffic light that can stop traffic. It’s a better fit all around."

Hudson Deputy Fire Chief John O’Brien agreed with Maddox’s assessment. He said the new station will put more of the town within reach of his firefighters.

"It puts 70 percent of the town within the four-minute response mark," he said in the video. "More importantly, by relocating to Lowell Road we get better response time to other parts of the town."

Even if the town approves the warrant article, construction and occupation of the new station wouldn’t occur until at least the fall.

"It’s going to be a year before they are in there," Maddox said. "By the time you do all the ground clearing and permitting, it all takes time."

Maddox said no firm plans exist for the current station once firefighters take up residence in the new station, but that the town would be able to use it as low-cost cold storage space.

Matthew Medsger can be reached at 594-6531, mmedsger@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_MattM.

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