EMS building project clears another hurdle toward approval

The architectural firm Jacunski Humes' computer rendering of the renovation and addition to the EMS headquarters on Jockey Hollow Road.

A renovation and addition project for the Monroe Volunteer Emergency Management headquarters at 54 Jockey Hollow Road should come before the Planning and Zoning Commission by its Feb. 20 meeting.

Last week, the Town Council unanimously approved a resolution to send an 8-24 municipal referral to the commission, asking it for a report on the municipal uses of the project.

Councilman Terry Rooney serves as chairman of the EMS Building Committee. “There has been a lot of due diligence,” he said at last Monday’s meeting. “It’s nice to see this moving along.”

Jacunski Humes Architects was hired to design the building renovation and addition and Burlington Construction Co. to be the project manager. The project has Inland Wetlands approval and the Planning and Zoning Commission must review the site plan.

On Jan. 22, the EMS Building Committee held a special meeting to field questions from neighbors. It was attended by First Selectman Ken Kellogg, Town Planner Richard Schultz, EMS Chief Donald Smith, Thomas J. Linden of Linden Landscape Architects, and Andrew G. Whitehouse of Jacunski Humes Architects.

Smith said he has 20 years of service with Monroe EMS, dating back to when the organization worked out of the electric room of the police station on Fan Hill Road. He recalled how it moved to its current location, in the Jockey Hollow Firehouse, in 2001.

Over the years, Smith said the ambulance service has seen an annual call volume increase, rising from 900 to 1,500 calls.

The EMS, which has between 45 and 50 members, has outgrown its facility. Smith said there is no office space and the classroom, which doubles as volunteers’ dining room, is too small.

There is no restroom upstairs and there is an unworkable shower on the lower level, so volunteers have to go home to shower and change, according to Smith.

The facility has 20 striped parking spaces, which Kellogg said is inadequate. The project would increase the parking lot to 64 spaces. Currently, Kellogg said people are parking on the grass when classes and membership meetings are held, are double parking and parking in front of ambulance bays.

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