PARTNERSHIPS: Antiquated sites are behind times
Former Dunkirk fire chief Keith Ahlstrom sounded a bit of an alarm in 2015 regarding the facilities of the Dunkirk Fire Department. “Headquarters as a building isn’t going to last. The first choice was do nothing. I’ve been in the fire department for 35 years and we’ve done nothing for 35 years,” Ahlstrom said seven years ago. “There has to be a plan looking three, five years out, on taking care of some of the situations we have.”
Government, however, rarely plans ahead when it comes to future considerations. Last week, Dunkirk Common Council authorized emergency repairs on the roof at the Eagle Street facility to the tune of $76,280. Funding for the project will come from the federal American Rescue Plan Act.
It was the right move, but area officials need to do something to better inadequate facilities. Community members are well aware of the city and village of Fredonia police stations. Both are antiquated for staff and those who are being held in custody at the locations.
What would be nice to see is Dunkirk and Fredonia revisit discussions on this item. Unless these entities plan on raising taxes big time, local government will not be able to get a state-of-the-art police location. It will have to be done together while serving both departments.
There’s a lot of talk about Central Connections with the municipalities and the State University of New York at Fredonia working together. A new police facility — for both entities — would be an important step for progress.
Right now, the current sites are way behind the times. It is no longer acceptable.