Re: New Firehouse and Property at Solomons Island Road and Central Avenue
A message from the President of Woodland Beach Volunteer Fire Department, Steven Hilgenberg Jr.;
If you’ve been in the Edgewater area in recent years, you’ve seen the signs and heard talk of a new firehouse to be built on Solomons Island Road (Rt 2) just south of Central Avenue (Rt 214). We receive inquiries about the status of the building and property on a regular basis; What is taking so long? When will we break ground? How much will it cost? There are more factors involved than meets the eye. The simple answer is that we have a large amount of money to raise; an estimated amount of $7-8,000,000 will be needed to complete the project.
Much of the money we raise is used to maintain and repair the current building and property at 529 Londontown Road. The building as it stands today is over 70 years old, therefor you can imagine the repairs that have to occur to keep it a safe functional environment for both our volunteer and career staff. Our current building still needs to meet safety regulations through the planning stages of the new facility.
In addition to the continuous upkeep of the current firehouse and the cost of maintaining our fire and medical apparatus, we will be needing to replace multiple pieces of fire and rescue units to include a fire engine and the rescue squad in the next five years. We are also in the process of obtaining the necessary motors and equipment to place the rescue boat in service. These are all very costly projects that must be handled in a timely manner in order to continue to adequately offer our emergency services to the growing number of residents and visitors in the Edgewater area.
We have gotten approval from Anne Arundel County to proceed as planned, once we have raised enough money to do so. We are working on plans to ensure that our new facility meets the needs of the community as it grows in the years to come keeping in mind that the types of apparatus that we need to keep our community safe may change with the increasing population.
In the meantime, we have come up with some new ideas for family friendly fundraising events for the community to attend. While we have had setbacks with our carnival over the past several years due to circumstances beyond our control, we are excited to bring some new events to the area as we work on bringing the carnival back. These events are in the planning stages, so your continued patience is much appreciated but we’re confident that they will be worth the wait! We will be updating as necessary with any new progress made.
Steven Hilgenberg Jr., President
Woodland Beach Volunteer Fire Department