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Millwood Fire District Works Out Kinks on New Station

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. -- The Millwood Fire District and the New Castle Planning Board continued to work out the final kinks on its new 18,000-square-foot facility on Tuesday night. Standing in the way of the $9.6 million proposal were several thousand dollar hurdles.

The fire district disagreed with the planning board's request for an extensive noise study, believing the benefit does not match the approximate $11,500 cost.

"Our position is that’s an awful lot of money," said attorney Anthony Guardino. "We’re not sure we’re gonna have an accurate depiction of what the noise is going to be. That’s an awful lot of money to spend. We just don’t think there’s enough of a benefit there."

Planning board chair Richard Brownell hoped the district would reconsider its position, believing there is value in performing a study. While Brownell agreed $11,500 is not a small figure, he said it is a "rounding error" relative to the overall cost of the project.

The planning board also requested the district set aside $11,500 to provide additional screening for the Millwood Realty property to the west of the proposed firehouse. Guardino said the district will comply, but does not believe the screening is immediately necessary.

"It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense now because we’ll just be screening a yard that’s storing trucks and whatnot," Guardino said. "If and when it gets re-developed, maybe we would approach it at that time and we would have this $11,500 to screen this development if necessary and appropriate.”

Another point of contention between the fire district and the planning board was the placement and the hours of operation for the station's siren. With advancements in signaling first responders via pager, board member Gerrard Curran questioned the siren's necessity.

“They’re becoming much more sophisticated, more reliable. But I also know that traditions die hard," Curran said. "I can’t see this being a deal breaker."

Despite the differences, the district is still hoping to break ground on the station in the summer. Curran said the two sides need to continue working together to hammer out the details.

“I think we’re making good progress,” Curran said. "I would strongly encourage you in your efforts and energy to work with the town, engineering and respective town agencies to really move forward on those.”

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