To the Editor:
I am shocked and dismayed to read the state of the Chilmark Fire Station. How can the town have let their building get to this point? Not only is asbestos a risk, from my reading of the conditions reported in The Times, mold is equally likely. Neither of those are human-friendly, and in my book, the town is liable for allowing this condition to develop. All employees and volunteers who have been consistently exposed to those conditions should be tested for mold, and asbestos (and I’m not sure how one can assess asbestos exposure, here’s an old link, I’m sure there are real solutions now: http://bit.ly/asbestest.) Until they can say definitively what is going on in this building, nobody should be working in there.
The building should be demolished. They haven’t been able to find a new site in 15 years? Really? Lame excuse. What’s wrong with the current site? What’s wrong with finding a way to house those trucks in a temporary shelter? I bet the U.S. military has solved this problem in remote locations. Or, if you don’t like the existing site, why not give up on the idea of the Chilmark School and locate it there? Perfect location. My experience is that if one wants to solve a problem, it will be tackled. To suggest now is the time for a Tri-Town fire force is pushing the problems Chilmark has created on the other towns (read taxpayers). Bail yourselves out first. And while we’re at it, we would still need distributed fire stations, probably exactly where they are, so what is a Tri-Town force going to do but add more overhead? I don’t buy it.
So please, the town with the lowest tax rate in probably the nation, can surely afford to do the right thing. I hope you’ll hop to it.