Letter to the editor from Louisa Stone, RTM District 10, Past chairman of the Greenwich Planning and Zoning Commission
I have lived in Greenwich over 60 years and I love this town. Next Monday, as a member of the RTM, I will vote on next year’s budget. It has $487 million for our schools, parks, police and fire, highways, libraries, human services, and general government. All town departments and our Board of Estimate and Taxation work hard to make sure that money is well spent.
To improve fire protection, the BET proposes two studies. One is $75,000 for a town-wide study of fire services. The other is $100,000 to choose a site for a combined fire/GEMS station in northwest Greenwich. The two studies can be done at the same time and should begin promptly.
It has long been known that properties in northwest Greenwich have less fire protection than in other parts of town. Distances from Glenville, the nearest station, are simply too far. The all-volunteer Round Hill station, built in 1946, is having major renovation, but its firefighters are not there 24/7.
A study of all emergencies in northwest Greenwich in the past five years found where they happened and how long response times were. To fill the gap, the Town is considering several properties whose owners would be willing to sell. It must do “due diligence” to choose the best one. Then we can decide to acquire the property, design and the build the station, and staff it. If we’re lucky, all could be done in four or five years.
In northwest Greenwich, where I live, people come to study, play, worship, work, or go to the airport. We RTM members represent the voters, but we must also think of those who have no voice – the students, patients, and workers.
Public safety is one of our prime responsibilities. I look forward to overwhelming approval of these items to make all of us safer.
Louisa Stone is a member of RTM District 10 and a past chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission.