In 1954, the Roosevelt Fire District was born, and three separate fire stations soon opened for business. That same year, Steve Allen wrote the theme song for his “Tonight Show,” which was recorded by many top performers over the years, including Bobby Darin, Ella Fitzgerald, and Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme.
The name of Allen’s song was “This Could Be The Start of Something Big.”
That title could very well be a theme song for the Roosevelt Fire District as construction bids for its new #3 fire house were awarded March 11 at a special meeting of the Board of Fire Commissioners.
Construction is expected to get started by April once all permits and bonds are in place, according to architect Dennis Ross. The current fire station on Bill Reynolds Boulevard, was expanded in 1969, but lies in a flood plain and doesn’t have enough space for current equipment. Eventually, this led to the purchase of land directly on Route 9G, at 830 Violet Ave., where the new facility is to be constructed.
When initial bids for construction were opened last August, they turned out to be above the district’s $4.5 million budget, which had been approved by area residents. So Ross and the Fire District Board returned to the drawing board to downsize the plans and find ways to reduce the overall costs.
Ross said they were successful in cutting square footage, parking areas, and mechanical costs, bringing the total bids for construction down from $4,182,908 to $3,451,300, a savings of $731,608. These estimates do not include costs for engineering, permits and fees.
But the Board of Directors is confident that these costs, with the new bids, will not carry them over their required limit. “We expect some of these costs to be substantial,” Fire Chief Dan Nichols told the Observer after the bid opening. “But we should be all right as we move ahead.”
Five bids were awarded at the March 11 meeting and were approved by a unanimous vote of the five fire commissioners: Chairman Louis Gallo, Tom Germano, Ed Desmond, Yancy MacArthur, and Bill Olivett.
“I am so glad we are getting started. It is a much needed facility and time for us to move ahead,” Gallo said. His comment was echoed by Nichols, who added, “This is a great day for our firefighters!”
The successful low bidders were:
1. General Construction—Key Construction of Poughkeepsie 2,640,000
2. Plumbing–Dutchess Plumbing and Heating of Rhinebeck 171,600
3. Mechanicals–C.B. Strain of Poughkeepsie 282,200
4. Electrical–Veith Electric of Hyde Park 300,000
5. Sprinkler Systems–SRI Fire Sprinklers of Highland 57,500
Prior to the Board of Directors’ vote of approval, Hyde Park Building Inspector, Don Westermeyer, reviewed nine items of importance to the building process from the town’s point of view. “I just want to clarify things for everyone,” he said, listing the requirements for posting bonds for highway and insurance, stamping work permits, water permits from Dutchess Water and Wastewater, Board of Health, and soil testing.
He was assured by the Board of Directors and the district’s architect, Ross, that all permit and bonding requirements would be compiled and submitted by March 24, allowing construction details to commence by April.
Following the vote to accept the low bids, the positive air in the Cream Street Firehouse #2 conference room certainly made it feel like “something big” was about to happen.