Case not closed on malfunctioning doors at Lee Center firehouse

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TOWN OF LEE — Malfunctioning door issues from a nearly finished Lee Center firehouse renovation, and approvals of firefighter training-related equipment and expenses, were among items at the town Board of Fire Commissioners’ meeting last week.

The board also began updating policies on commissioners’ ethics and on handling Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests for documents.

• For the Lee Center firehouse renovation that involved a reconfiguration of overhead doors, there are “some items they still need to address” regarding closing the doors, board Chairman Brian Mandryck said of contractors’ work on the project.

The new doors “sometimes don’t close all the way” and “reopen automatically when they’re not supposed to,” Mandryck commented. The situation occurs intermittently and does not happen every time, he noted, adding that the doors can be closed manually in those instances.

The doors are “still...to be corrected,” said Mandryck, and a sub-contractor for the project is scheduled to “come in and work on it.” The board last month authorized payment of $72,293 of the total project cost of $89,548. M.J. Dakota company of Oneida is the main contractor for the work, which involved reconfiguring four firehouse doors into three wider doors to better fit larger vehicles.

• The board approved the purchase of two blast mask equipment items for Lee Center firefighters’ training, for about $100-$150 apiece, said Mandryck.

The masks can be used in training to simulate the use of air packs for breathing under smokey firefighting conditions, Mandryck explained. Using the masks can relieve wear and tear on air packs, including having to refill the packs, he added.

• The board approved the purchase of 50 two-by-four lumber pieces for about $150, to be used in partitioning some buildings at the Lee Center firemen’s field for training purposes, Mandryck said.

The partitioned areas can help simulate moving among rooms when fighting a fire within a building, and can enhance firefighters’ training, Mandryck commented.

• Fire commissioners are starting to review various policies for possible updates, beginning with those for ethics and FOIL requests, said Mandryck.

It has been about eight years since either policy was reviewed, Mandryck observed. State guidelines call for periodic updates to determine whether changes are needed, he said.

Changes in conditions or laws could be among factors that lead to updates.

Commissioners have not received any FOIL requests for documents in several years, Mandryck said.

He also said he is not aware of any matters having arisen for the ethics policy, which involves what can be done and should be done regarding commissioners’ operations.

The five-seat commissioners board manages fire protection within the taxpayer-funded Lee fire district, and oversees the Lee Center Volunteer Fire Department. The board also contracts with the independent Lake Delta Volunteer Fire Department for coverage in the town’s southeast portion.

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