Groton commission irons out details in fire-station design

Jul 25, 2012 Full story: Groton Landmark 17

Town officials involved with the design of a new Center Fire Station have been working on final details ahead of entering upon the formal special permit-application process.

Full Story
Alix Chace

Groton, MA

#1 Jul 26, 2012
Dear Residents:

I reach out to you to ask on behalf of the rural character of the Town and natural open space that has already diminished so greatly in the last two decades that you join me in opposing the intention to construct a new fire station on the land which is owned by the Lawrence Homestead Trust along Farmers Row.

Such an action is unnecessary to the needs of the Town which may be satisfied with other actions such as enlarging the existing station or choosing another site that is already in a developed zone of the town.

This piece of land is unique as it is one of the few open spaces that is visible to people as they come into the center of the town and truly is a significant part of the natural open space that lends the Town its rural character despite the growth the Town has experienced.

I hope you will do everything you can from signing a petition, writing a letter to the Selectmen, Conservation Commission or Building Committee, to participating in a demonstration at the proposed site. I know that together we can encourage and motivate the local town officials to find an alternative solution to the desire expressed for a larger building on the part of the Fire Chief. Surely there is an answer that will not so effectively change the character of the town and the landscapes few and far between that still evidence the Town's commitment to preserve its historic agricultural culture and the beauty therein appreciated by all who reside here.

Best regards,

Alix Chace

Postscript :
I also question the bias of the committee based on the fact that two members are members of the fire department and no owners of abutting properties are on the committee.
Shack

Groton, MA

#2 Jul 26, 2012
To Alix, I just found your Post. I very much agree with every word you wrote. I am so sick and tired of all the/our so called Town Government.

For the past 50 years, I have always paid attention to any Groton Town affairs. However, in recent years, I feel that we the people really are being beaten into
submission.
Chicopee Row

Groton, MA

#3 Jul 27, 2012
Alix,

I wholeheartedly agree with you. It's interesting how one parcel of open space is deemed more precious than another. Obviously, those "in need" of this fire station have viewed sites using tunnel vision with no sense of the esthetic value of the parcel.

I applaud your desire to change officials' minds and will sign any petition that I am presented with and will follow some of your suggestions.
Charlie

Groton, MA

#4 Jul 27, 2012
What a sensitive letter that expresses the sentiments of many Grotonians. Thank you, Alix.

Those who voted in favor of this site have deprived the town of a beautiful pastoral view for the rest of our lives and those who follow. What a shame.

They are probably the same people who voted to invest our money in the Boynton Meadows project which will rob the center of town of views of Gibbet Hill and beyond.

We love our town center the way it is. Surveys said! How sad and discouraging that nobody listens.
Shack

Groton, MA

#5 Jul 27, 2012
I don't have any answers. My thoughts and feelings are simply that we did so much better without a
"Town Manager"...."running the town".

We had years of "maintaining". We had selectmen who listened to us. Now, it seems that our selectmen are
just in the town manager's serfdom. I still hope that our new selectman can see through, what I see as an aura of the "on the way up, we say how high".

Perfection...no new contract for Haddad....
But, I bet the Selectmen don't have that strength.
Shack

Groton, MA

#6 Jul 27, 2012
Addition/Correction to my Post..when he says jump..on the way up they say how high.....

A question..for anyone...is there a possibility of nepotism involved in of OUR much needed new projects
within the last few years or future.....?????

My intentions for writing here is ONLY because I care about Groton...period. I would like all the "committees" which have committees to stop and take a breath. Just enjoy our Town..sigh...for a bit.
Chicopee Row

Groton, MA

#7 Jul 28, 2012
We are a little New England town. I wish that we could keep it that way. Improvements are good and necessary. But a major reconstruction of our image is an abhorrent idea and it sickens so many of us who were born here or who moved here because of what Groton is. Outsiders working for the town don't care like we do. (You all know who I mean). Some newcomers who can't afford Lexington or Concord type towns, please don't move here and try to makeover Groton...because you aren't going to be living here forever like we are. You are welcome to live and grow here. Just enjoy the simple, wholesome life that the town has offer.
Shack

Groton, MA

#8 Jul 29, 2012
One of the many things that I do not understand is the
need of a new fire station. I have read all "their" reasons. We have a mostly volunteer fire department.
The only valid reason,that I have been able to figure out is that the trucks need more space. Why not build new bays down on Station Ave for trucks. I don't see the need for a kitchen etc....

Leave our beautiful Town as it is.....bad enough we lost our Inn ..and now more Boynton Meadow consruction?

It all sickens me....As has been mentioned here we
have been taken over by out of towners for our own good?
Common Cents

Groton, MA

#9 Jul 31, 2012
Shack wrote:
One of the many things that I do not understand is the
need of a new fire station. I have read all "their" reasons. We have a mostly volunteer fire department.
The only valid reason,that I have been able to figure out is that the trucks need more space. Why not build new bays down on Station Ave for trucks. I don't see the need for a kitchen etc....
Leave our beautiful Town as it is.....bad enough we lost our Inn ..and now more Boynton Meadow consruction?
It all sickens me....As has been mentioned here we
have been taken over by out of towners for our own good?
I agree with you about simply building more and larger bays on Station Ave. The new design sounds like a Taj Mahal...for a volunteer FD. Don't see the need for all of the amenities, except maybe showers & lockers. A fitness center? The PD also has access to its own fitness facility. Duplication! They'll be neighbors now, right? Why not share? Be nice if they'd all share with the townspeople, huh? Half of the proposed spending could be spent on equipment, technology and training. I thank them for their service to the community but this project is way over the top! Speaking of which: now its 3 stories high?? And a barn design? Keep it simple stupid.
Shack

Groton, MA

#10 Jul 31, 2012
Common Cents wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree with you about simply building more and larger bays on Station Ave. The new design sounds like a Taj Mahal...for a volunteer FD. Don't see the need for all of the amenities, except maybe showers & lockers. A fitness center? The PD also has access to its own fitness facility. Duplication! They'll be neighbors now, right? Why not share? Be nice if they'd all share with the townspeople, huh? Half of the proposed spending could be spent on equipment, technology and training. I thank them for their service to the community but this project is way over the top! Speaking of which: now its 3 stories high?? And a barn design? Keep it simple stupid.
Yes, agree ..Don't forget dining room..?..dormitory..? assinine...construction will be multiply roof lines which is more expensive....and will no doubt will be heated/cooled year around.
Have no idea why "they" bother with 8/8 meeting. "They won't listen"
Chicopee Row

Groton, MA

#11 Aug 1, 2012
Re: 8/8 meeting. Our presence is important whether they listen or not. The media is there and residents opinions are heard and read about. At least, others will know that they are not alone in their opposition to this siting and design.

Town and school boards speak out of one side of their mouths about open discussion and out the other with what they plan to do anyway.(Eg: HS project, Boynton Meadows)

Poor Groton Electric has taken a beating on its project. It is the best company in town. It actually saves us money and provides us with top notch service!
Rez

Hollis, NH

#12 Aug 1, 2012
Showing up to the meetings is very important but equally important is showing up to vote at Town Meeting. Only the land has been purchased. There is still time to reconsider the location. The vote to approve funding has not been taken. There is some discussion as to whether it will be at the fall Town Meeting or a special January Town Meeting. The vote to purchase the property was taken at this past spring Town Meeting and was passed by a vote (2/3 majority required) of 170/44. This vote was taken late in the evening (after 11 PM) and after a large number of voters had left.
8 MILLION

Pepperell, MA

#13 Aug 1, 2012
Really? How can the town even think of spending 8 MILLION for a fire station? 8 MILLION!!!!

What is next? MORE Full timers (think of what it costs for a policeman). Pensions. Retirement.

The Mass Call/Volunteer study has shown for each firefighter/emt you hire, the initial cost to the town is 100k PER YEAR (salary/benefits/gear/etc)!

Whomever came up with the 8 MILLION dollar tag should be FIRED!

Chief Joe is a bit greedy and the BOS/TM should need a reality check.
Shack

Groton, MA

#14 Aug 8, 2012
OK...I am feeling snarky...don't care if that is a word or not....tonight's meeting....aarrghh!

And, yes I did attend that Spring Town Meeting...
but...at 11:25P...so many had left..with tired
minds and posteriors.(Town Meetings should have a
curfew)

"TRAINING" seemed to be the word of the night...would that be in the kitchen, dining room or bunk room...?

I am disgusted ..and very tired...
JKGroton

Lowell, MA

#15 Sep 17, 2012
There was a really good article on Boston.com http://www.boston.com/news/specials/fires/fir...

Granted it was written 7 years ago but it's still relavant today.

I would like to know what the average response time is for Groton Fire fighters from time of dispatch of 911 call to arriving at the fire? I would like to know if the Fire Chief can guarantee that this new 18,750 sf central fire station will decrease the response time? I will let you in on a little secret. When you have volunteer fire fighters your response time is much longer due to them getting from where they are to the fire. Also when you have 5 full time firefighters and 4 of them are off on emergencies who is left to drive all the trucks to the fire?

Simple solution. Have 1 full time fire fighter and 1 full time EMT at each fire station. Each fire station should have a fire truck and Ambulance. That way when there is an emergency the response time would be lowered.
uhg

Ayer, MA

#16 Dec 13, 2012
Response times are fine.
New fire station equals waste of money. It's a want not a need simple as that.
You fire fighters and emts should be asking for full-time positions and a better salary....screw a new fire station. Who cares? Its a building. A new building is not going to help pay your mortgage, child care, car payment, food and the list goes on and on and on.....
alternate

Leominster, MA

#17 Dec 17, 2012
Maybe the town would be better served spending a few million dollars on the water supply to feed hydrants...?

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