Saratoga County

Malta Town Board OKs joint effort to build downtown firehouse

The Town Board has approved formation of a new, nonprofit corporation to build a fire station in the

The Town Board has approved formation of a new, nonprofit corporation to build a fire station in the Parade Ground Village development downtown.

The Round Lake and Malta Ridge volunteer fire companies are forming the corporation, The Fire Companies of Malta Inc., so they can build and operate a new station together. The station wouldn’t open until about 2014.

“We would hope within a year of breaking ground to be backing trucks into the station,” said Fred Lee, president of the Malta Ridge Fire Company.

The fire companies have a tentative agreement to buy a 2.25-acre site on Hemphill Place.

The move, supported by town officials, follows a 2009 fire protection study that found a new central station is needed because of the amount of development in the downtown area, together with the construction of the GlobalFoundries computer chip plant only a couple miles away.

Right now, Malta’s two main fire stations are at the extreme north and south ends of the town, with each company maintaining a small substation on Route 9 near downtown. Those substations would be closed or used for storage if a new station is built.

“This will hopefully provide better fire protection down the road,” Lee told the Town Board on Tuesday.

Firefighters had previously considered building on town-owned land on Dunning Street, but that was opposed by some residents of the adjoining Luther Forest housing development, and the fire companies last spring withdrew their proposal.

So far, no opposition to the Hemphill Place site has emerged. It is in a commercial area near the center of the downtown.

Lee said the new corporation still must be approved by the state, but design work for the new station should start immediately after state approval is received.

The new station would have room for a ladder truck, something fire company officials said is needed in the downtown station because of high-rise apartment buildings and the size of the GlobalFoundries complex.

The board of directors of the new corporation will include Frank Mazza, Paul Parker and Laurie Cameron from the Round Lake company and Rick Jennings, Jim Jankowski and Steve Shaw from the Malta Ridge department.

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