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Woodbridge Fire Department Taking Heat for Fire Pit

According to a report on WTNH, the volunteer fire association may have constructed the fire pit and barbecue area without filing the proper paperwork.

 

Unless you've got eagle eyes, the small stone fire pit isn't visible from Center Road. To see it, you'd have to walk around the fire station at 100 Center Road in Woodbridge. But the controversy it's caused has been visible in the community, including on Bethwood Patch.

The Woodbridge Fire Department has reportedly been issued a cease and restore order from the town Inland Wetlands Commission and may have to remove the pit behind the fire station because it violates a 100-foot setback established when the station was built in 2007.

"It is a pity that the Firehouse so divides this community, largely, in my opinion, because the community did not want this particular Firehouse," wrote Lydia Fazio Theys in an October 12 open letter to the Board of Selectman. "Enough people supported it based on the buffer zone--which has now been violated--to let it happen anyway. Allowing the violation to remain would set a terrible precedent. The Selectmen must act now to stop this encroachment."

Woodbridge Conservation Commission Chair Maria Kayne agreed.

"The leadership of the Woodbridge Fire Department has worked closely with the town for years on the construction of the firehouse," she wrote in another open letter published October 15. "They cannot claim ignorance of the agreement on the buffer zone, nor can they say they did not know of the wetlands regulations that were so salient in discussions of where the firehouse would be built.  They knew the rules and they ignored them."

According to a report on WTNH the volunteer fire association may have constructed the fire pit and barbecue area, which was added to the department's facility after it was built, without filing the proper paperwork. The commission was reportedly alerted to the project by some unnamed whistleblower residents.

Chief Sean Rowland of the Woodbridge Fire Department told WTNH that the department went before the Inland Wetlands Commission on October 10 and asked permission to get proper approvals to be within the buffer area. The fire department has 60 days from that date to submit an application which may be approved or denied by the commission.

Should the commission deny the application, the twin fire pits and patio, which were built using private donations, will have to be removed. Otherwise, the department could face sanctions.

For more, check out the WTNH report.

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Bob G October 25, 2012 at 12:14 AM
I have lived in Woodbridge for 19 years and can't believe the complainers would stoop that low and complain about something so rediculous. Instead of Thanking the Men and Women that DONATE thier quality time for us too feel safe you out right stab them in the back. What if all these firefighters say the next time we need there sevices that they feel not to respond because they have something better to do? The few complainers should really think about this. What harm did this do? I think you should find something better to do with your time before all these volunteers do. I for one would like to Thank You all for taking the time to keep us safe and protect our properies every day 365 days a year. Bob Giuliano
Worried in woodbridge October 25, 2012 at 08:11 PM
While they are looking at all of the rule breaking being done by the firefighters in the construction of the fire pits, maybe they should have the building inspector look at all the renovations they completed in the basement of the fire house. The area that was earmarked for storage has a pool table, exercise equipment and oh so much more that they are hiding from the towns people. Makes me think twice before returning that envelope they send out every year asking for a donation if it is just going to go toward funding a boys club.
Joe Worried October 26, 2012 at 10:14 PM
The Fire Association needs to remember, they DON"T own the building. The town does, they should be more respectful to the hand that feeds it.
Eddie Walsh October 27, 2012 at 01:37 AM
You could join their boys club if you wanted. You'd just have to climb into burning buildings, respond to gruesome car accidents, stuff like that. No big deal, right? Not like they risk their lives or anything. Why does it matter to you if they have some entertainment while waiting for a call? What's the problem with firemen getting exercise (I prefer firefighters who dont pass out in the inferno)? Like it or not, they save this town a ton of money each year, and that's a fact. Imagine if they were a paid fire dep.
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