Dutchess County Firehouse on Verge of Closing
A firehouse in Dutchess County may be closing its doors for good in the very near future.
Robert Matragrano, vice-president of the Croft Corners Fire Company, part of the Arlington Fire District, claims that the Board of Fire Commissioners (BOFC), chaired by James Beretta, has refused to negotiate in good faith with the fire company, which may lead to the Arlington FD Station 5 shuttering its doors at the end of the month.
The station in jeopardy, known as the Croft Corners firehouse/Arlington station 5 is located near the intersection of Route 9 and Spackenkill Road. The building is owned by the Croft Corners Fire Company and has been in operation since 1951. The station houses two engines and one ladder truck. The volunteers staff one engine and the ladder truck while the other engine is manned 24/7 by paid Arlington firefighters.
Matragrano asserts that the BOFC, which previously gained national attention for ordering that the American flag be removed from the fire rigs, directed Fire Chief Tory Gallante to pursue a suitable replacement for Station 5. The BOFC and Croft Corners had been in negotiations to renew the lease when the BOFC took out an advertisement in a local paper seeking suitable space to house one engine and 3-4 emergency personnel around the clock. Additional requirements include a restroom, shower area, small dining area, and a lounge area. According to Matragrano, the BOFC never mentioned that they were seeking an alternative space. The company only learned of it when they saw the newspaper ad.
The current lease expires at midnight on December 31st. The company told Hudson Valley Post that they have provided several options to the district including a long-term lease with a 17% discount and a short-term lease with no increases. The fire commissioners have not responded to either option and they did not answer requests from Hudson Valley Post regarding the possible closure or the lease proposals.
Two of the five commissioner positions are up for election on Tuesday, December 12th, for terms that go into effect in January. Voters in the Arlington Fire District can call the district at 845-486-6300 to determine their polling place.