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Sackets Harbor Fire Company on final stretch on fire hall improvements

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SACKETS HARBOR — The end is in sight for an expansion and renovation of the Sackets Harbor Fire Company’s station at 112 N. Broad St.

On Saturday morning, newly appointed Chief Randolph V. Lynd was working on the floor of a room that will become an office, while member Peter R. Daly worked on a series of electrical fixtures. Michael D. Hoagland, president of the company’s board of directors, cut wood to frame a window.

In addition to about $30,000 in village-funded contract work, many of the renovations have been made possible through the labor and fundraising of company members. Mr. Hoagland estimated about 100 volunteer hours had been contributed by members to get the work done.

“This is the culmination of everybody coming together,” Mr. Lynd said.

In addition to the expanded office, the department’s space will include more equipment and vehicle storage space, an area for bailout training and a new classroom.

The Saturday morning work session was expected to be one of the last, leaving only the installation of countertops and lighting and the moving of furniture before the project is complete.

The expansion came about as the village Department of Public Works last year moved out of the building into a space on Hill Street, coinciding with the opening of the village’s new sewer facility. The exit gave the fire company about 50 percent more space in the building, which it shares with the village government.

The added space makes a big difference for the company’s day-to-day operations. The department’s office on the other side of the building tightly squeezes a single chair between a desk and series of file cabinets. The department in the past has used vehicle bays for educational sessions.

“It worked, but it certainly wasn’t very comfortable,” Mr. Hoagland said.

David J. Woodkirk, second assistant chief of the company’s Station 2, said the near-complete expansion could encourage members to spend more time at the firehouse, improving response times when emergency calls go out.

“You have an engine crew in the station hanging out; you can’t beat that,” he said.

Roger E. Brunet, a member of the company for 48 years, said the expansion was something the firefighters had asked about for years.

“It’s just been a blessing,” he said. “I can’t believe the extra room we got.”

Mr. Brunet joined the company at age 18 in 1967, back when the firehouse was on West Main Street, where a gazebo stands today. He said the expansion could help in recruiting younger members, many of whom reminded him of himself.

“I was just like they were — gung-ho,” he said.

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