Woodmont gets grant to turn old firehouse into borough hall

The Borough of Woodmont will receive a $500,000 state grant to help renovate Fire Station No. 5 and turn it into a new borough hall and community center.

The borough sought $500,000 to transform the two-story building from a dedicated fire station to a multi-purpose facility, and Ed Bonessi, Borough of Woodmont warden, said he is thrilled.

“This is an exciting day not only for the Borough of Woodmont but for the whole city of Milford because Woodmont is one of the very few active boroughs in the entire state,” Bonessi said. “We’re excited because this project will yield so much more than a new borough hall — it’ll be a true community center with events and programming for residents of all ages.”

The new borough hall will serve as a center for the community to meet, to organize, and hold events and to provide services for their seniors as well as their youth,” Senator Gayle Slossberg said in announcing the grant.

Bonessi credited Slossberg with working to secure the funding.

“The economic benefits to this project are both short term, creating construction jobs for the renovation of both the fire station and the existing borough hall, and longer term, because the new hall will host community activities and events that will undoubtedly require staffing,” Slossberg said.

The funding comes from a STEAP grant. The purpose of the STEAP program is to promote community conservation and development and improve the quality of life for residents.

Woodmont officials applied for the grant last year but did not receive it.

Bonessi said a more thorough application and help from state representatives helped secure the grant this year.

The city offered to sell Woodmont the fire station for $1 when the new east side fire house is complete. The borough voted to accept the offer, but it has not been finalized by the aldermen yet, Bonessi said.

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