New airport fire station gets thumbs-up from MVC

0
The airport fire station will be two stories high and will house fire-fighting equipment, snow-removal equipment, administration offices, meeting space, and temporary living quarters.

The new fire station at Martha’s Vineyard Airport was unanimously approved by the Martha’s Vineyard Commission (MVC) after a development of regional impact (DRI) public hearing on Thursday night, Nov. 3.

In addition to housing firefighting equipment, the new 14,674-square-foot building will house snow-removal equipment, administration offices, meeting space, and temporary living quarters.

The two-story building will have cedar shingles and a dull gray metal roof.

MVC executive director Adam Turner said the project has been in the works for five years, and the upgrade from the recently demolished fire station was required by the Federal Aviation Administration.

“It’s a beautiful building that fits our needs and fits into the community,” airport manager Ann Crook said. “This will bring us into compliance with FAA regulations, and allow us quicker and safer response … We don’t have dedicated firefighters on our staff, we have a cross-trained staff, so they mow the airfield, do snowplowing, fuel the aircraft, and if there’s an incident, they put on their gear and report as firefighters. We are staffed 24/7, 365. Those people are always doing something. Those beds will be used for naps between long shifts, or if someone is sick, but they will not be full-time housing.”

Ms. Crook said the construction will not cost Island taxpayers a dime: “Ninety percent will be covered by a grant from the FAA, 5 percent by state grants, and 5 percent will come from airport revenues.”

“This is an absolute no-brainer,” West Tisbury commissioner Doug Sederholm said. “There are no detriments.”

“I think this is a great fire station, and everybody should have one,” airport commission chairman Myron Garfinkle said.

Project manager Joe Sullivan, from Boston-based Daedalus Projects, said the project should be completed by next September.