County chairman says board will help finance St. Lawrence County Fire Training Facility
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 9:01 am

By JIMMY LAWTON

CANTON -- St. Lawrence County Legislative Chairman Jonathan Putney said he expects a deal to help finance the St. Lawrence County Fire Training Facility will be struck in the coming months.

While a resolution passed by the finance committee Monday did not include funding for the new training building, Putney said the intent of the resolution was to begin that process.

"I think what this resolution does is allow me to sit down with the county attorney and the St. Lawrence County Fire Training Facility co-chairs to work out the details."

The SLC Fire Training Facility committee has been raising money for a $450,000 building that can be used for fire training exercises. The old facility was shut down about six years ago after it was deemed unsafe.

Putney said he feels strongly about this project and believes there is enough support from board members to fund a portion, or the remainder of $180,000 needed build the new facility.

In October, state senators Joseph Griffo, Betty Little and Patty Ritchie announced they had secured $100,000 toward the building.

On Monday, assemblywoman Addie Russell’s office announced an additional $100,000 had been secured.

Putney said it is time for county to close the remaining gap.

"I have worked with (Dale Gardner) looking for alternative sources of money for the past few years and there are no significant sources of revenue that haven’t been tapped," he said. "I believe it’s our obligation to get this facility up and running," he said.

Putney said the building is an important part of the firefighters training process and for the past several years, volunteer rescuers have been traveling outside of the county to complete their required classes.

"It’s been six years since our firefighters have had an opportunity to use facility like this in St. Lawrence County. In my opinion this puts an undo burden on them. It requires a significant amount of personal time that's being used to travel to other facilities and that is unfair."

Putney said the resolution passed Monday will go before the full board next week. Once it is approved, he plans to work out a deal to finance the remainder of the St. Lawrence County Fire Training Facility.

"This is something I feel very strongly about. It's something I believe in. It is my feeling that it is the sentiment of the majority of the board that we get this done.”