Key Word Is 'options' At Oxford Fire Station Forum

By: Shawn Magrath

Key word is 'options' at Oxford fire station forum (Shawn Magrath Photo)

OXFORD – Oxford Fire District 23 has options which range from doing nothing to building an entirely new station at a different site.

That was the message taxpayers heard at the Oxford Fire Station Monday during an informational forum led by Hueber-Breuer Construction, the engineering firm contracted by the village to analyze the threat of riverbank erosion on the fire station just yards from the Chenango River.

The bank's seen significant wear in the last ten years, prompting village officials to analyze ways to protect the 1970s era fire station. The village says it's just a matter of time before before the river poses a threat too costly for the village to handle.

The solution? Mayor Terry Stark says he's not sure. But it's good the village has a list of 10 workable options identified by Hueber-Breuer, including a new structure on or off the current site, repairing the river bed, opening a sub station, consolidating with other districts, or simply doing nothing.

Stark expects something will need to be done within the next ten years before possible flood damage to the station leaves taxpayers underwater.

“We're going to do the best thing for Oxford, the best thing for Oxford Fire District 23, and we're going to look at everything and probably choose an option that provides the best service of the fire district at a reasonable cost,” said Stark.

The goal of Hueber-Breuer is to keep the department viable for the next half-century. There's a lot involved in that, explained company project manager Sean Foran.

“The most important decision you make in any project are the ones you make early in the process,” Foran said to a crowd of roughly two dozen at Monday night's forum. “We don't want you to spend money designing something that either won't be code, you can't afford, or isn't a longterm solution.”

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