May 25, 2022

Deep River Selectmen Appoint Fire Department Study Committee

DEEP RIVER— The board of selectmen has appointed a seven member committee to study needs and options for the Deep River Volunteer Fire Department in the wake of last summer’s failed referendum for a $2.4 million firehouse expansion project.

The committee appointed Tuesday, called the fire department study committee, includes four members recommended by the fire department and board of fire commissioners, and three volunteers picked by the selectmen. Members recommended by the fire department are David Berardis, former fire chief Tim Ballyntine, Richard Killmer, and John Kollmer. Members chosen by the selectmen are Paul Carlson, Peter Terenzi, and Steven David.

First Selectman Richard Smith said the committee would perform research necessary to “answer all of the questions,” related to any possible expansion project for the 1961 firehouse located on the corner of Union and Elm streets. Smith said the board of selectmen would adopt a former charge for the committee at its Dec. 28 meeting. Smith said the committee’s study would help determine whether any new proposal for a firehouse expansion is presented to voters in a bonding referendum in 2011.

Voters rejected a $2.4 million expansion plan for the firehouse on a 347-312 vote in a July 13 referendum. The vote last summer was the second rejection of an expansion project for the firehouse, with a more costly $3.7 million plan failing by a much wider margin in a November 2007 referendum.

Smith said the new committee would hold its first meeting in January. He said the panel would begin by preparing a questionnaire that would attempt to gauge what residents are looking for, and how much they are willing to spend, on a firehouse building project. The questionnaire would be mailed to all local box holders sometime early next year.