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Genesee planners OK East Pembroke fire hall site proposal

BATAVIA – The Genesee County Planning Board has approved a site plan to construct a new East Pembroke Fire Hall off Route 5 in the Town of Batavia – with a modification focusing on Enhanced 911 dispatch requirements.

County planners on Thursday gave their support to the East Pembroke Fire District’s $3 million project to relocate its headquarters from West Main Road in East Pembroke to Barrett Drive, which is located east of the hamlet between East Avenue and Hartshorn Road.

The modification calls for Town of Batavia officials to officially dedicate Barrett Drive as a public road in order for it to be included into the Enhanced 911 dispatch system. Enhanced 911 services in Genesee County consist of E911 landline service where the number of the caller and the location of the physical structure are revealed to the dispatcher receiving the call AND Wireless Phase 2 where the cell phone number is identified and the caller’s latitude and longitude (within 300 meters) is provided by Wireless network operators within six minutes of a request by the dispatcher.

Since the fire hall would be the first address on the road, planners are requiring town leaders to work with the county’s emergency management department to ensure that the address meets E911 standards.

“Currently, tax maps show Barrett Drive as a parcel instead of a right-of-way,” said Felipe A. Oltramari, director of the County Department of Planning.

Barrett Drive was built for a trucking company in 1987 but was never dedicated as a road, Town Supervisor Gregory H. Post said.

“The trucking company closed and moved away, so only now are we developing it for access for the fire department,” said Post, adding that the land for the proposed 11,000-square foot facility was donated to the fire district by property owner William Kistner of Kistner Concrete.

Assistant Town Engineer Thomas Lichtenthal is assisting the fire district in the process of moving operations from its current building, which has been found to be structurally deficient.

The new building will have five bays for the fire department’s vehicles plus office and training areas.

In July of 2014, residents of the fire district – which serves East Pembroke and parts of the Towns of Batavia, Pembroke and Alabama – voted in favor of the project, which would increase the property tax rate from $1.10 per thousand of assessed value to a maximum of $1.98 per thousand.

However, that vote was for a move to a location east of Barrett Drive.

“The initial site turned out to be more expensive than originally thought due to environmental concerns,” Lichtenthal said. “It has to go back out for a re-vote because they’re now looking at a new site.”

Moving forward, the Town Planning Board will consider the site plan at its meeting on Dec. 15. Fire district officials are hoping to conduct another public vote in January or February.