The Recorder – Negotiations continue for the permanent site of the Greenfield Fire Hall; property under preparation with demolition works


Posted: 07/22/2021 18:44:49 PM

GREENFIELD – Despite some recent demolition work, negotiations are still ongoing for the old open-air market property on Main Street near Coombs Avenue, the desired location for a new permanent fire hall.

As part of the environmental remediation process to be carried out at the site, the Main Street greenhouse was recently dismantled, Mayor Roxann Wedegartner told city council on Wednesday evening.

“As part of the city’s due diligence, the owner discovered environmental issues,” she said, noting that the property has been used in different ways since the 1700s. “It’s not very unusual, especially if you are buying property in Greenfield, whether it is a home or a commercial property. ”

Wedegartner said that as part of the buying and selling process, it is the owner’s responsibility to take care of these issues.

“They take responsibility,” she said.

In an interview, Wedegartner said there were issues in the other buildings on the property that needed to be addressed before they could be demolished as well.

“They have to give us a clean site so that we can buy and sell,” Wedegartner said.

The property – which includes the recently removed greenhouse, adjoining house, and an apartment building on Coombs Avenue – came in as the lowest bidder last year after a bid for proposals in fall 2020.

“It was the location that met most requirements as a fire department, and it was the lowest value,” Wedegartner said.

She noted that this was not a situation where the city had to go with the lowest bid – in this case, it was the property that most matched the intended use. In particular, it offered “excellent access to Main Street”.

Other sites being considered, such as a building on Wells Street and Main Street, did not have as good access to Main Street, she said, explaining that the main entrance should be on Wells Street.

While a timeline is not certain, Wedegartner said, once the sale closes, architects will be allowed to begin designing the new station.

Meanwhile, progress on the temporary fire station on Hope Street is on track for occupation in August, according to a press release from the city. Appliance bays, which will house fire trucks, rescue vehicles, and other fire-fighting equipment, are in place, and the framing of interior rooms and bulkheads in bays is “underway. completion”.

Once the fire department moves into the temporary Hope Street facility, the city will be able to demolish the current Main Street station to make way for the new Greenfield Public Library. The city plans to use the temporary station for about two years before moving to the old open-air market property.

“We are working daily to ensure the best and safest possible scenario for our firefighters during this transition,” Chief Robert Strahan said in the statement. “I am grateful that the timeline for this move is on time and we look forward to starting to settle in next month.”

Mary Byrne can be reached at [email protected] or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne

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