With bond rates at a historic low, the is looking to capitalize on low interest rates, and hopes to bond out the funding for a new $5 million headquarters to replace an aging facility the organization says it is outgrowing.
The 45 members of the SVVA are looking to move the location of the 40 year-old ambulance building stationed at Meeting House Lane due to surmounting space and location issues said former Assistant Chief, Joe Hurley.
He said the members have brought the concerns involving a lack of space in the building and the location of the building to the Village of Southampton three times in the past three years.
Ambulance members are now working on informing the public about their concerns involving the inadequacies of the building. This past Saturday, the Village of Southampton Ambulance held an open house to showcase the problem areas of the building and provide options for renovations or a new location.
The ambulance Chairman of Membership, Ron Hill, said they have talked about three options for the ambulance building. The SVVA enlisted Victor Conseco of Sandpebble Builders to estimate each option. The first option is to stay in the same location and renovate the space, estimated at approximately $4.1 million by Conseco.
To Hill, this option is the least appealing. He said the property is narrow and in order to make the addition work, SVVA would have to "build out and up." They already do not have enough room for parking, and the fact that the ambulances have to back into the building is a liability issue, which would not be solved by a renovation. Once the building is bigger it will be more expensive to service with heating and water.
Hurley added that the building's present location is not ideal. With most volunteers coming from north or west of the station, many have to get to the building through Main Street or Jobs Lane, which often has excessive traffic in the summer. It is also located on a narrow strip next to the parking lot, so emergency vehicles can only enter on the Meeting House Lane side with barely enough room for two vehicles to enter at a time.
The second option is to move the ambulance building into the Village of Southampton Fire Department. Conseco estimates the fire department's building would need a $4.2 million renovation to be suitable to meet everyone's needs. This option will solve the parking and location problem, but the space in not much bigger than the current location, said Hill.
The most ideal location, said Hill and Hurley, would be to build a new ambulance building next to the on Windmill Lane for $4.9 million to 5.3 million. In this scenario, they would have the building equipped with geothermal heating and cooling, a training room big enough for the ambulance and police department, and enough space for all of the emergency vehicles.
Hill said members are hoping a bond funds the new building or renovation.
Hurley said the Ambulance members in part choose this time for the renovations because, “bond rates are at a historic low.”
The members of the Ambulance Corp are waiting for the Southampton Village Board members to check the estimates and bring the issue up for discussion at a Village Board meeting.