Fairfield selectors approve $300,000 for fire department toilets and adds facilities for women

FAIRFIELD — The Selectmen approved nearly $300,000 for a bathroom renovation at Fire Station 2 that would make them handicapped accessible and add facilities for women.

“It’s an important upgrade that has long been needed, even more so with the recent addition of two female firefighters,” Fire Chief Denis McCarthy said at this week’s special counsels meeting.

McCarthy said the renovation has been in the works for a while, and the department has set aside $250,000 a year for renovations. The fund is currently about $699,000.

While Station #2 is Westport’s newest, the bathrooms are 50 years old. He said the building was constructed in 1973 and the bathrooms haven’t been renovated since.

The city originally planned to renovate the restrooms at Fire Stations 1, 2, and 5 as one project, but the cost was much higher than expected, so each station is being done as a separate project. Bismarck Construction Co., the selected company, had a bid that, while higher than expected, was at least $68,000 less than the other two bids.

“It’s a lot higher than we expected,” McCarthy said.

Selectman Thomas Flynn said he supported the project because of its age and the problems it faced, but questioned the high price tag.

“$300,000 to the general public sounds like a house,” he said. “Why a bathroom? What makes this so unique that it will cost so much money?”

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