Hudson selectmen mull fire station's shortcomings
During Tuesday night’s meeting, board members debated the possibility of bringing a proposal before voters in the coming years to either remodel the existing Lenny Smith Central Fire station on Library Street or build a new facility at a different location.
This week, Fire Chief Robert Buxton told selectmen that Hudson’s main fire station has undergone a variety of repairs in recent years, but that the facility is more than 60 years old. While it is structurally sound, it does not meet national standards.
“But picking things off our wish list when they break isn’t the best plan,” Buxton said. “If this building was built today, we’d be expected to have two egresses off the second floor rather than one. Right now we’re enforcing a life safety code when our own building doesn’t meet the life safety code.”
The fire chief said a new facility that size could cost up to $6 million. A less costly option would be to renovate and expand Central Fire Station, which would cost about half the price of a new building.
“When we talk about our infrastructure, Central Station is just the tip of the iceberg,” Buxton said. “The truth is, our other facilities were built for an on-call environment.”
“We began discussing alternatives and which direction the board would like to go,” Coutu said. “I do think we need to have a lot of healthy discussion about this. We also need to start taking care of the buildings we have before we start expanding.”
“I’m hesitant about razing that building or building a new one on-site or at a different location,” Nichols said.
Further discussion on Hudson’s fire facilities will take place at the Sept. 8 selectmen meeting.