Town officials gathered for the official groundbreaking.
By Katrina Margolis
Hometown Weekly Reporter
On Thursday, April 13, the town of Walpole officially broke ground on their new fire station, talks of which had been in the works for the past 10 years. With a $14.2 million budget, this new station is much-needed after the department and its resources have grown. This station will be built in the same place as the old one, and the fire department will remain in its temporary space until the new station is finished, which should be around April of 2019. The new space will have six bays, and significantly more space than its predecessor.
“The original station was built for $4,000 and served the town for 52 years,” Eric Kraus, Chair of the Board of Selectman, said. He went on to explain that this will be the third facility built on this space. The second facility was “replaced by a combination fire and police station at a cost of $140,000.” Since then, the department has grown immensely, now needing to house 36 full-time personnel. “They respond to an amazing 5,200 calls for service annually, consisting of 3,200 emergency calls and 2,000 inspections,” Kraus elaborated. “The new facility will alleviate the overcrowding, and it will provide much-needed work space for our personnel to perform their essential duties.”
Chief Timothy Bailey Jr., who has been a Walpole firefighter for 30 years and Chief for 10, said a few final words before the old fire horn atop the building was sounded twice more in a farewell gesture. “We spent a lot of time clearing out this station here and moving into the temporary space, so I would like to say thank you to each and every one of those who helped,” he began. “I’d also like to say thank you to our development team and the permanent building committee which sees our project as we move forward. We are extremely grateful to the community for their help.”