Thiells Fire Department Proposes $24 Million Bond for New Firehouse

Residents of the Roseville-Thiells Fire District will soon cast their votes on a proposed $24 million bond issue aimed at funding the construction of a new firehouse for the Thiells Fire Department. The decision to place the funding initiative on the April 30 ballot was made by district commissioners this Monday, following a public presentation of the firehouse plans.

The need for a new facility has become increasingly apparent as the department continues to operate from its overcrowded main station on Route 202, a structure originally built in 1960 that no longer complies with certain state codes. The cramped conditions have led to firefighters donning their gear amidst harmful gas fumes from idling trucks, which are stored mere feet apart and alongside the dive team’s boat.

The proposed bond would not only cover the construction of a 23,000-square-foot, two-story firehouse but also the acquisition of a 4.8-acre property situated approximately 500 yards from the current site on Route 202. The land, valued at $3.25 million, was previously owned by the estate of Dr. Frederick Zugibe, the late Rockland Medical Examiner.

District officials have outlined a financial strategy that includes utilizing $700,000 from the district’s reserve funds and the potential sale of the existing firehouse property, estimated to fetch $1.5 million. The new firehouse’s costs are deemed cost-effective over the 30-year bond period, with the average district homeowner projected to pay an additional $185 per year.

This initiative represents the culmination of efforts that began in 2018 to secure a suitable location for a modern fire station. The Thiells-Roseville Fire District, with an annual budget of $1.3 million approved by voters, serves an expansive area that includes Thiells, Garnerville, Pomona, and parts of West Haverstraw, as well as significant portions of the Palisades Interstate Parkway, High Tor State Park, and Harriman State Park. The department also boasts a 14-member dive team and operates two substations, reinforcing its critical role in the community’s safety infrastructure.

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