Binghamton May Consider Consolidated Fire Station
A chief's truck parked in front of Binghamton Fire Department headquarters on State Street. [Bob Joseph/WNBF News][/caption]
Major changes could be coming to the Binghamton Fire Department, including more station closings.
Mayor Richard David on Tuesday confirmed he's "been exploring" the concept of a consolidated fire station.
Responding to questions on WNBF Radio's Binghamton Now program, the mayor acknowledged discussions are underway within the fire administration about the future of the department. He said "we haven't necessarily taken any concrete steps towards making that a reality."
The fire department now has five stations around the city: The main station at City Hall on State Street; Station 1 at 259 Conklin Avenue on the South Side; Station 2 at 180 Main Street on the West Side; Station 3 at 39 West State Street on the North Side; and Station 4 at 176 Robinson Street on the East Side.
Under one scenario said to have been discussed by the mayor and fire officials, the North Side, East Side and South Side stations would be closed. Under that scheme, neighborhoods protected by those facilities instead would be served by a new consolidated station which could be built at Brandywine Avenue and Robinson Street. That site soon will be available when the old public works facility is demolished.
During the live radio interview, David said he "could envision" that property as "one potential site" for a possible consolidated fire station. The mayor refused to identify other sites that may be under consideration.
Under such a plan, David said "some" existing stations could be closed but he declined to publicly name the stations that likely would be shuttered.
The mayor said assessments will be needed to determine what impact such a cost-saving plan would have on fire department response time.
David said a study is not currently underway but he intends to "ask for a review of possible scenarios." He said it would be an "internal analysis."
The mayor would not answer when he was asked whether he expected layoffs would occur if the consolidated station plan ultimately was pursued.
David stressed no decisions have been made about the future of the fire department.
The old public works department garage at Brandywine Avenue and Robinson Street on Binghamton's East Side. [Bob Joseph/WNBF News][/caption]For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.