The Prudential Committee is moving closer to purchasing property for a new fire station; left, Corydon Thurston is the new moderator, clerk and treasurer.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Fire District hopes to get some more information in the next few days about whether it can build a new station on a Main Street parcel the district has under contract.
Prudential Committee member Edward Briggs on Wednesday told his colleagues at their monthly meeting that Williamstown engineering firm Guntlow & Associates is expediting the topographical survey the committee ordered on the acreage it hopes to purchase from the estate of Kurt Lehovic.
"I contacted the Guntlow folks, and their survey team saw it last Friday or Monday," Briggs reported via speaker phone since he could not attend the meeting at the fire station. "I talked to the engineer in charge to see how the survey was going, and he was very pleased it was moving along."
The 3.7-acre parcel already has cleared the commonwealth's hazardous material inspection process, Chapter 21E. Once the topographical survey comes back, the district will turn the data over to its architect, who will determine how much fill will be needed on the site and what size building can be constructed.
"I talked to [a representative] of the Maguire Group last week and I gave him an update because we haven't had any contact with them for probably a year and a half," Briggs said. "He said as soon as we get the topo to get it back to them. They'd put it in the mix and come up with new figures for fill.
"The topo will tell the Maguire Group if there is enough usable land. ... It's going to be awfully close, we know that. We just hope the flood plain doesn't impede on where we want to build."
Once the Prudential Committee determines the site will suit its needs, it will put the question of whether it should aquire the land to the district's voters. The committee has a signed purchase and sales agreement for $575,000.
The committee Wednesday also discussed the district's continuing efforts to install dry hydrants in parts of town not served by town water. The hydrants are basically pipes inserted into rivers and streams that allow fire trucks to draw water in the event of an emergency.
Hay fire at Cricket Creek Farm.
Chief Craig Pedercini told the committee that firefighters have finished up work on a new dry hydrant on a bridge on Blair Road. Labor and materials for the project cost just more than $1,500, he said. The district's next dry hydrant is permitted and ready to go on the bridge at the Five Corners intersection of Routes 7 and 43, Pedercini said.
He also reported that the town recently had an example of how effective the dry hydrants can be.
Among the department's 51 fire calls in June and July was a call to Cricket Creek Farm where a trailer caught fire with 11 round hay bales on board.
"We used a dry hydrant out at Cricket Creek Farm that was put in by the owners a few years back," Pedercini said. "We were able to use that dry hydrant for the first time, which was nice, to put the fire out."
In other business on Wednesday, the Prudential Committee welcomed aboard its new moderator, clerk and treasurer, Corydon Thurston, who oversaw his first meeting in that capacity. And the committee once again approved a single tax classification for all town property owners for fiscal 2014.