League of Women Voters of New Castle, NY
P.O. Box 364, Chappaqua, NY 10514. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The League's Local Planning Committee has been involved with major development issues in New Castle: the proposed redevelopment of the Reader's Digest property, changes in the Chappaqua hamlet and the repair of the Route 120 bridge, the intersection of Rtes. 120/133, and the Millwood Fire House.
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Millwood Fire House
Questions for Millwood Fire House Scoping Document: Realis Property January 24, 2007
The League of Women Voters of New Castle is a nonpartisan civic organization whose mission is to promote informed and active participation in government. Through activities such as our Candidates’ Nights; forums and informational meetings; public questioning and comment before relevant town boards; and coverage in our newsletter, The Voter, the League provides public education and outreach on a broad array of issues with impact on our local community,
As part of our ongoing involvement with significant community issues, the League’s Local Planning Committee has been following developments related to the proposed construction of a new fire house in the Millwood Fire District to replace the existing Station #1 on Route 120. The following are our comments to be considered for the Final Scoping Document for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on the Realis Property as a potential site for the new Station #1:
Size and Cost of the Proposed Fire Station
In the DEIS, please provide a full justification for the size and cost of the fire station. This should include a comparison of the Millwood Fire District with other districts of similar size in surrounding areas. For each district including the Millwood Fire District, the comparison should include, but not be limited to, the following factors: the number of households each serves; the size of the business community each serves; the total assessed tax value of each district; the number of fire stations and number of bays in each district; the square footage of the fire stations; other facilities offered in each of the stations, such as offices and public meeting rooms; and other relevant factors.
Ability of the Fire District to Pay for the New Fire Station
The DEIS should discuss the anticipated cost and financing of the project and all proposed alternatives, along with projected impacts on the tax rate. The desire and the ability of the District’s tax payers to pay for such additional taxes should be evaluated.
The DEIS should discuss in detail the plans for waste management and environmental controls, and the approvals that will be required to maintain the integrity of the watershed. Sewering options for the site and alternatives should be considered.
The DEIS should include a full discussion of any covenants restricting the use of the Realis Property. If any have to be overturned, the DEIS should describe the process for so doing and the costs involved.
Unsuitability of Existing Fire Station
The DEIS should address the specifics of why the current location is unsuitable for a new fire station. It should also consider how the old site would be used after the construction of a new fire station on a new site. If the intention is to sell the property, an estimate of the sale price should be included.
Compliance with Town Zoning
The DEIS should address whether the proposed fire station is compliant with the regulations of current Town Zoning Code and those of the Millwood Overlay District. If not, it should discuss the zoning changes necessary to accommodate the proposed building and alternatives.
The DEIS should address any outdoor activities, including training, that would take place on the site and at alternative sites.
League Comments on Millwood Firehouse DEIS November 5, 2008
While expressing support for district fire fighters and ackowledging the need for a new facility, district residents who spoke at the hearing challenged the report's findings in frustrated and sometimes angry terms. An in-house review by Town of New Castle staff requested additional information on the project, calling the DEIS "incomplete and deficient" [as detailed in an October 17th memo submitted to the Planning Board].
The League's Local Planning Committee submitted comments on the DEIS that raised questions about key issues such as site analysis, traffic, needs, financing, and outdoor activities at the new facility. The League also called for transparency and dialogue in the process.
Read the League comments (pdf document) on the Millwood Firehouse DEIS.
Go to www.mynewcastle.org for Town comments on the Millwood Firehouse DEIS.
Go to www.millwoodfiredistrict.org to read/download the DEIS for the firehouse.
Updated Oct. 27, 2009 by Valerie Castleman
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