Cutting the Ribbon at New Wellesley Island Fire Station

Cutting the Ribbon at New Wellesley Island Fire Station

Posted: Updated: Jun 10, 2018 04:21 PM

Jim Russell, building committee chairman of the Orleans fire district knew they were taking on a big task by building a new fire department. 

"Neither one of us have ever built anything bigger than a storage shed outback much less than a two point whatever million dollar building," Russell said.

The Wellesley Island Fire Department cut the ribbon on their new building Saturday morning. It replaces the Thousand Island Park's Fire Station which was destroyed in an electrical fire four years ago.

"I just feel relieved, for me, it's been a lot of time and it's something that I really didn't have the experience to do," Russell said.

It cost just more than $2 million to build the department; it took three years to actually acquire the funding and one additional year to construct it.

The ceremony marked the completion of the work by the contractors. And although the department has been using the building since March, it hasn't been fully operational until now.

"This is kind of an important symbol for the community," said Andrew Garlock, project architect with BCA. "So it really needed to be something that was visible and also aesthetically pleasing right here on the island."

The town of Orleans' fire commission bonded out the fire department to The Bank of Green County in the Catskills after the it was approved through referendum.  

Russell said the Wellesley Island Fire Department was initially going to raise the money to rebuilt it, but they fell far short of their two and a half million dollar budget.

However, now the people on Wellesley Island have their fire department back.

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