SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – The City of Saratoga Springs is on its way to having a three-station fire department, as construction starts on the future Fire Station # 3.
A groundbreaking ceremony with city and fire department officials was held on Tuesday at the site of the new station, where construction crews recently began site work.
Located at 16 Henning Rd. on the city’s east side, the 16,000-foot facility is slated to be built on 2.36 acres of previously undeveloped land south of the intersection with Fifth Avenue and across the street from the Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES F. Donald Myers Education Center.
The purpose of this initiative, as leaders shared during the ceremony, is to reduce emergency response times and improve the fire department’s overall coverage of the city.
The $ 8 million project, expected to be completed by the summer of 2023, has taken about 20 years to finally come to fruition, making Tuesday’s groundbreaking a long-awaited occasion for some project supporters.
“Today marks a milestone,” said Saratoga Springs Fire Department Chief Joseph Dolan, who explained that the new station will not only help provide residents with “the quality of service this city deserves,” but it will also serve as an emergency operations center in the event of a disaster at city hall, create a conveniently located home for the Saratoga County Hazardous Material Team and provide a place for public education and community risk reduction programs. “This station is going to improve overall services to the community as a whole,” he said.
Sharing a bit of the history of the city’s fire department, Dolan noted that Station # 1, located downtown on Lake Avenue, was built in the 1930s, followed by the second station on West Avenue in the 1970s. As the city continues to grow, particularly on its east side, a third fire station will soon be open and operating, starting next year.
Several different city administrations have been involved with the project since its inception more than two decades ago.
Saratoga Springs Mayor Ron Kim, in his remarks at the ceremony, especially thanked both the fire department leadership and the local residents who helped push over the years for this station to be built. “They knew that we needed this,” he said of the past and present fire chiefs, while also recognizing the citizen advocates who supported the project.
“The real purpose of this project is to save lives, to protect the residents of Saratoga Springs, ‘Saratoga Springs Commissioner of Public Safety Jim Montagnino added. “It’s to cut response times and it’s to keep the people safe.”