The cost of East Aurora’s proposed new fire hall seems to have risen well above the $5.3 million that was originally projected.
The fire hall, planned for 33 Center St. in the heart of the village, now has an estimated price tag of about $7.5 million, Aurora town officials said Monday night.
Councilman Jeffrey Harris, the town’s liaison on the design committee overseeing the project, said he had learned that the cost has risen by a little more than $2 million.
“We want the building to be 100 percent used for the Fire Department for their needs and not shrink the size of the footprint to save for aesthetics,” he said during the Town Board meeting. “That’s quite a bit more money than is there.”
Harris, who said he wasn’t able to attend a special meeting on the project Friday, said he has since been informed by several people familiar with the latest architectural plans for the proposed fire hall that the cost had risen substantially.
Mayor Allan Kasprzak and Fire Chief Roger LeBlanc could not be reached to comment late Monday.
Harris told residents attending the meeting that the Fire Department needs the community’s support.
“We want the building big enough to meet their needs,” he said. “Hopefully, there will be some grants available.”
The village approved preliminary work on the project in December and at that time hired Bergmann Associates of Rochester to do the general design of the new fire hall, which will replace an aging, cramped fire hall on Oakwood Avenue.
The proposed design has not yet been presented publicly. Fire officials early on said the new hall could have a Roycroft-style flavor, possibly with stone pillars on either end and Roycroft-style lighting, but nothing has been formally announced.
Harrissaid he has heard that a Roycroft look is very much part of the drawings, with archways over the doors of the fire hall.
“There’s already some talk of whether the firemen can do without this or that. The firemen need to have the say,” he said after the meeting.
Aurora Supervisor Jolene Jeffe said that she, too, has heard that the cost estimate for the fire hall is significantly higher than the original proposal.
“I’ve heard they’re looking to make changes to bring that [cost] down,” she said. “We need to do the right thing in balancing the cost with the attributes of the building.”
Jeffe said she expects the issue may be discussed at 7 p.m. next Tuesday at the town’s work session in the Southside Municipal Center, 300 Gleed Ave.