Architect Brian Humes describes the project. Photo: Weston Today
By unanimous voice vote at a Special Town Meeting this evening, an appropriation was approved for renovations to Weston's public safety facilities, including an expansion of Firehouse No. 1 on Norfield Road.
Just over $2.1 million will be drawn from Town reserves. When the work is finished, $750,000 will be returned to the Town's fund balances by a donation of $500,000 from the estate of Daniel E. Offutt III and a $250,000 gift from Weston Volunteer EMS.
The decision is a triumph for EMS president Jon Weingarten, who has been working for over a decade to have quarters built for EMS crews. At the meeting, Mr. Weingarten said Weston is one of very few towns without EMS quarters. He said it may help meet recruiting challenges over the next several years, as State EMT certification requirements become more demanding.
"I'm thrilled," said First Selectman Chris Spaulding. "This was an amazing team effort. I'm proud of the hard work done by so many people to make it happen. I'm ready to sign the contract tomorrow."
Approval of the general contractor agreement by the Board of Selectmen is a foregone conclusion. Dr. Spaulding expects work to begin early this spring. Architect Brian Humes told the roughly 150 meeting attendees that the contract specifies a 250 calendar-day project duration.
The main firehouse will get a second story and a new roof, providing space for bunk rooms, office space, and a training area.
Weston Police headquarters will get a new entry and prisoner processing area. Old detention cells will be replaced with modern, safer ones. The police facility will expand into a portion of Town Hall to provide room for evidence handling and storage. Parts of Town Hall will be reconfigured to accommodate the change.
A new roof at the emergency dispatch center will replace the existing leaky one. Inside, the small facility will get a paint job, new carpeting, lighting, ceiling tiles, and ceiling insulation. Wiring at the center will be reorganized, new desks will be purchased, and the restroom will be improved.
Police Commission chair Beth Gralnick told attendees that the police and dispatch needs have been lingering for years. She said the buildings were erected in 1975 and have been improved very little ever since.
EMS president Jon Weingarten. Photo: M.S. Wirtenberg
Photo: M.S. Wirtenberg