SOMERS, N.Y.-Replacing the Route 100 state police barracks with a much-larger firehouse/emergency operations center would needlessly waste millions of taxpayer dollars, a candidate for Somers’ Board of Fire Commissioners warns.

“I am opposed to the construction of a massive public safety complex,” the candidate, Alex Roth, said, insisting that such a facility “will not increase the fire protection services...in a way that is proportionate to the increased tax dollars and the size of the expenditure.”

He put the cost of building the structure at more than $15 million, subject to a referendum by district residents. Fire officials have already spent $650,000 from their capital reserve fund, Roth said, to buy the 12 acres of IBM-owned land the barracks now occupies.

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The proposed emergency operations center, on the drawing board for years, would combine state police and Somers fire operations under one roof. In a critical situation—hurricane, snowstorm or other crisis—town officials such as the supervisor, highway superintendent and chief of police would join the building’s full-time tenants to create a central command post with links to wherever necessary by phone, computer and radio.

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