Land near chuch rectory offers new fire station building hope

Land next to the St. Agatha church rectory on Adams Street is under review by the Fire Station Building Committee as a site for a new fire station in East Milton Square.

(Photo by Elaine Cushman Carroll)

After scouring East Milton for a possible new home for the East Milton Fire Station, the Fire Station Building Committee (FSBC) in May approached St. Agatha Parish.

The FSBC wanted to purchase a piece of property next to the church’s rectory building at 432 Adams St.

On Sept. 18, the plan drew a mixed reaction in the basement of the church on Adams Street when a meeting was scheduled to get a sense of whether or not the parish would be open to the idea.

The Rev. William Palardy, the pastor of St. Agatha, introduced the committee members and said the purpose of the meeting was to get feedback from the St. Agatha Parish Finance Council and others from the church, whom he called “the people who advise me.”

In an email sent after the meeting, Palardy said the parish will be reviewing the proposal through its Parish Pastoral Council, Finance Council and School Board.

“Once I have input from these three committees and have a chance to touch base with the parents of our St. Agatha School children who were at last Wednesday’s meeting and perhaps other parents too, then we’ll consider the next steps about whether to move forward or not,” he said, adding that the decision will take “a while.”

Members of the St. Agatha School community and residents also attended the meeting that drew about 50 people.

Standing in front of the group, Brian Walsh, chair of the FSBC, held up a smoke-damaged photo that showed him with his eighth-grade graduating class from St. Agatha School.

It was one of the few of his personal possessions that survived, he said, when a fire tore through his home a couple of years later when he was a junior in high school.

Walsh noted the irony that he would be asking to sell a portion of property for use as a fire station.

“We’ve got to relocate the East Milton station,” Walsh said, detailing the findings of the committee, including that the current station is too small and too dangerous for firefighters in its current condition.

“This is an extremely good location. We hope you will at least consider it,” Walsh said.

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