By ADAM ATKINSON
CANTON -- The town board is moving forward with plans to build fire department pump houses in Rensselaer Falls and Pyrites.
At their meeting Aug. 9, the board approved a final draft of a request for proposal (RFP) for the work.
The council directed town supervisor David Button to circulate the RFP to local engineering firms and advertise in local media outlets.
The town has the opportunity to accept the donation of two used industrial pumps from the Massena General Motors plant, Button said at the meeting.
Capable of pumping 600 gallons per minute, the 3-phase electrical pumps would be in good working order and environmentally sound.
The pumps are part of the equipment the company is “de-acquiring” at the Massena site, said Button.
Button said proposals received from firms able to engineer and construct buildings to house the pumps would give the town a project cost estimate. “We have not calculated the cost of the gift of the pumps, but we need to calculate the cost of the ancillary work,” Button said.
The pump houses would be heated block structures with outside hose hook-ups. Piping installation to the water source would also be part of the work.
“If it is affordable, we will bring in the fire departments,” said town councilman Jim Smith.
At that point, the municipality will work with the Rensselaer and Pyrites fire companies to find the best sites for the pump houses. Button said “hopefully” those sites would be on land already owned by the fire departments.
Currently fire fighters in Rensselaer Falls and Pyrites lack a charged water system and draw water directly from nearby rivers to battle blazes in their coverage districts.