ROCKPORT — The new West Rockport Fire Station, as it is currently planned, would cost nearly $2 million, but it is needed to provide fire protection on that side of the town, according to the fire chief. In addition, the project would replace the current station, which is too small and has a leaky roof among other problems.

Construction is expected to begin, if the project is approved by townspeople, in the summer of 2023 with a completion date in 2024.

A look at the interior of the proposed West Rockport Fire Station that would have four bays for vehicles.

Architect Amanda Robertson Austin of 2A Architects in Rockport, Fire Chief Jason Peasley and Bill Lane of Gartley & Dorsky engineering outlined plans for the project in public hearing July 26. The hearing was so poorly attended, they debated whether to even go forward with the presentations, but video of the informative meeting can be viewed through the town website.

Peasley explained that there are 28 firefighters in the volunteer department, and only about four live on the village side of town. The current West Rockport Station at the corner of Routes 17 and 90 can only fit one truck, he said.

The Fire Chief also noted the importance of the location of stations for maintaining the rating for home insurance in the community.

The roof of the station needs replacing he said, and there has been basement flooding.

He also added that times are changing, and it is difficult to find volunteers. He expects that, at some point in the future, the town will have to consider going to a full-time department.

A look at the elevations for the new fire station provides and idea of its appearance.

Austin said the new proposed building would have room for four vehicles and have four bay doors. It would include a kitchen, sleeping quarters, office space, room for work around the vehicles in the bays, showers, and a public meeting room that could be used for both training and public events.

The requirements of a fire station are demanding in terms of ventilation and other utilities, so she said there is a large utility room as well.

The project would need to go to the voters for approval and would have to be put out to bid.

The next meeting on the project will be held at the existing West Rockport Fire Station Aug. 4 at 6 p.m.