MALTA — The town planning board approved an extension to the Malta Ridge Fire Department property located between Route 9 and Hearn Road Tuesday. The extension will add an additional parking lot, several new rooms and expansions to the kitchen of the department building.
The plan as it exists now will encompass less than a half-acre of the pre-existing property; a 1,300-square-foot expansion for training more staff, a conference room and a kitchen extension.
The new parking lot will hold 12 cars and be on the opposite side of the building from the current lot—a separate parking area primarily for community members to use during department coordinated activities for the public.
“The extension isn’t for calls to the department or emergencies, it’s more for educational events,” said presenter Matt Brobston.
To prepare for the expected jump in attendance and activity in the department, additional modifications will be made including adjustments to the septic system, as well as tree removal and curb-cutting to improve sight distance. Brobston says the changes will help the department accommodate.
The curb-cutting and addition of a new driveway was a safety concern for some board members who worried about potential collisions with oncoming traffic off Heard Road.
“Heard Road is a very dangerous road—I drive it every day,” said board member John Viola. “Suppose you get someone trying to beat the light and suddenly they come upon this new driveway!”
Members Joseph Lopez and William Smith echoed these concerns and proposed new traffic signs and adequate property lighting to address the issue.
The improved sight distance and new signs were agreed upon by Brobston, and with safety problems addressed, the board welcomed the development.
“This is long overdue; frankly it might not even be enough of an extension,” said Viola.