NEW PALTZ – The Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery recently broke ground on a $6.6 million new firehouse and Emergency Operations Center to be located at 117 Henry W. DuBois Drive in New Paltz. The expanded and more resilient facility will serve the all-volunteer New Paltz Fire Department and will replace an existing two-bay firehouse built in 1985, providing local officials with a larger space for staging and deploying emergency response operations during and after future storm events. The project was developed through GOSR’s NY Rising’s Community Reconstruction Program and is being implemented in partnership with the village and town of New Paltz.
“Every day, New York’s first responders selflessly answer the call of duty — risking their own lives to deliver aid and services to their neighbors during their moments of need,” said Alana Agosto, Executive Director of the NY Rising Community Reconstruction and Infrastructure Programs at the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery. “Once complete, this project will ensure the community of New Paltz can effectively coordinate disaster response, deploy aid, and improve the overall preparedness of emergency crews in the area. We are thrilled to join village and town officials to break ground on this important project.”
During Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, the community of New Paltz — located in Ulster County— was overwhelmed by rapidly-rising floodwaters that impeded the access of vehicles and hindered immediate response. Informed by these experiences, the East of the Wallkill River Emergency Operations Center Project will build a 15,508-square foot, five double-bay facility that features an adjacent office, meeting space and training mezzanine.
The expanded building will also have a kitchen and ADA-compliant bathrooms in order to accommodate personnel from a variety of agencies who may staff the facility around-the-clock in the event of an emergency.
GOSR contributed approximately $5 million to the project, with the remainder of the funding coming from the village and the town.
“I’m so pleased to see this important project move forward today and thankful for the work of the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery,” said Senator Mike Martucci. “During emergencies, citizens need to know they can count on State and local governments to work together and deliver a unified response. Our first responders regularly put their lives at risk on behalf of our communities They deserve every modern tool available to them and today we are helping to deliver just that.”
“The emergency response center located at the new Henry W. Dubois Drive Firehouse will help protect the safety of New Paltz area residents, businesses and public spaces,” said Assemblymember Kevin Cahill. “Climate change is making storms more violent, their aftermaths more profound. Securing resiliency has become a greater challenge as a result.
This new, state of the art facility will help our emergency responders deploy rapidly, pervasively and appropriately. I applaud the Office of Storm Recovery and the local officials who advocated for and brought to fruition this much-needed facility.”
“In addition to their regular jobs and volunteering, our firefighters pored over details with architects and engineers in numerous meetings over years,” said Village of New Paltz Mayor Tim Rogers. “They designed a state-of-the-art building to provide fire protection, but also made sure the firematic features that they selected made fiscal sense for taxpayers. Our firefighters’ commitment to serving their neighbors runs deep.”
“It’s extremely gratifying to see this project come to fruition as it’s been in the works since 2015, when the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery awarded funding in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irene and Lee,” said Town of New Paltz Supervisor Neil Bettez. “I’m glad the town and village were able to come together to strengthen the resilience of our community in this way.”
“The firefighters are excited to have a new facility to train in, respond from, and bond together in,” said New Paltz Fire Department Chief Cory Wirthmann. “This will definitely expand our ability to continue providing exemplary service to the community.”
Altogether, more than 650 New Yorkers served on 66 NY Rising Community Reconstruction Planning Committees across the state, and have together proposed hundreds of projects inspired by the unique needs and assets of their regions. Collectively, NYRCR committees have held 650 planning meetings and 250 large-scale public engagement events as they have worked to rebuild more sustainable communities, reinforce infrastructure, mitigate the risks of loss and damage associated with future disasters, and spur revitalization.
Now in the implementation stage, GOSR works with a variety of municipal, county and non-profit partners to bring locally-devised proposals to fruition.
Established in June 2013, GOSR coordinates statewide recovery efforts for Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. Through its NY Rising Housing Recovery, Small Business, Community Reconstruction, Infrastructure and Rebuild by Design programs, GOSR invests $4.5 billion in federal Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery funding to better prepare New York for extreme weather events. More information about GOSR and its programs is available online at http://stormrecovery.ny.gov/