On behalf of the homeowners surrounding Station 2, thank you for your tremendous support over the last six months. Once again, we need your help.
Four of the five fire commissioners are very anxious to go forward with their plans to rebuild Station 2 before we, the public, have an opportunity to elect more community-minded commissioners to the board.
On Jan. 30, a three-inch legal notice appeared in this newspaper to inform residents that the Hicksville Fire District will present updated plans for Station 2 to the public on Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. at the main firehouse on East Marie Street. While we are glad to have this public forum, we feel that if the majority of the board cared about informing the people of Hicksville and sincerely wanted their input on the issue of the expansion they would not have scheduled this presentation plus question and answer session:
• During winter break when many families are away on vacation;
• Without checking the availability of the members of the five neighboring households who would be most affected; or
• By running a three-inch legal notice in the next to last page of The Hicksville Illustrated News instead of, at minimum, a quarter page ad in a more prominent location of the newspaper.
This is all the more reason why your presence at this meeting is critically important. We must continue to question the logic of spending $3 million to rebuild a firehouse on a triangular piece of property not much larger than the property of private homeowners in Hicksville.
While the new design will include a larger meeting room and gym for the volunteers, it won't include the space for another fire truck, ambulance or equipment that would increase the safety of the public. Anyone who drives by this location can see that, if the rebuilding goes forward, it's just a matter of time before private property is sought to provide parking - despite assurances from the commissioners that this is not their intent.
What the board of fire commissioners has not revealed to the community is our right to vote on the issue of this expansion. To exercise this right we must present a petition signed by resident homeowners of the Hicksville Fire District who account for 25 percent of the property value of the district. This is a huge undertaking that would have to be accomplished, by law, within a 30-day time frame after the commissioners post a legal notice to establish a capital reserve fund for the rebuilding.
Anyone willing to assist us in this effort should call 835-8402 and leave a message. Even if you can only collect a few signatures, we'd be grateful to hear from you. We look forward to having you join us on Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. at the main firehouse on East Marie Street.
The Briggs Neighborhood Committee