Amvets may buy Parishville fire hall, proceeds could fund new ambulance
BY MATT LINDSEY
North Country This Week
PARISHVILLE — Parishville Amvets Post 282 may purchase the Parishville Fire Company fire hall in a move that would get taxpayers off the hook for the purchase of a new $300,000 ambulance.
Not only will taxpayers be spared the cost of a new ambulance, they will also keep a vital building and land in their community.The Parishville Fire Hall was built in 1980 by volunteer members of the fire department, according to Parishville Fire chief Ed Cool.
Cool said the building and land is owned by the fire department volunteers, not the land or department itself.
“All the money from the sale could be divided up amongst the members,” Cool said. “We had a vote and we will be turning the money over to buy the ambulance so we don’t have to go to the taxpayers, this will help the community.”
Cool and other volunteer members jumped at the thought of the Amvets purchasing the building and keeping it a community-based facility.
“They do a lot for the community,” Cool said.
Michelle Hayes, Parishville Amvets Ladies Auxiliary president, is heading up fundraising efforts.
She said she expects the running of the building to remain much the same. Wedding receptions, community dinners, banquets and more will all continue.
The Amvets now need to raise about $300,000.
Amvets Italian night dinners held on the first Monday of each month have put a dent in raising the funds, as have revenue from wedding receptions, banquets and other event rentals of the building.
Hayes said the Amvets are leasing the building for a year before a decision will be made to buy. During the year they will run the facility as their own, using funds toward the purchase of the building.
She said the Amvets wanted to make sure the venture would not be a money-losing one.
Hayes says bingo is planned this summer, and the Amvets have applied for a state license to do so.
She anticipates mid-July for the games to start up.
“Thankfully and not-thankfully, because of COVID there is second-hand bingo equipment for sale locally,” she said, referencing the many organizations that stopped and never returned to bingo nights.
To help the Amvets' cause, try an Italian night dinner on the first Monday of each month from 4:30 until 6:30 p.m. Meals cost $10 and feature lasagna, spaghetti, salad, a roll, dessert and a beverage.
Chief Cool said Parishville Fire has ordered a new four-wheel drive ambulance to replace one of their current vehicles, which is a 2009.
He estimates the cost to be around $290,000.
Cool said it was ordered six months ago and would take about two to three years to be built and arrive due to backorders associated with the pandemic.
Parishville Fire can pay for the ambulance once it arrives.
Parishville Fire Company won the North Country REMSCO EMS Agency of the Year Award earlier this spring. The North Country Regional Emergency Medical Services Council (REMSCO) is a regional agency providing laws and responding to issues EMS agencies may be facing.
Parishville Fire have responded to provide mutual aid at emergencies in St. Regis Falls, Colton, Tri-Town, Waddington and many places in-between.
Parishville is busier than many other departments because they are one of only a few Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulance services around.
Parishville handles fire, rescue, and water and dive emergencies.