WEST WINDSOR: Council approves purchase of Twin ‘W’ building

By Lea Kahn, Staff Writer
WEST WINDSOR — Township Council has purchased the former Twin “W” First Aid Squad’s headquarters building at 21 Everett Drive for $700,000.
The council voted unanimously to purchase the building Monday night, following a public hearing on an ordinance to acquire the 2.8-acre property. It is located around the corner from the Municipal Complex.
The building will be used to house West Windsor Township’s paid emergency medical technicians. Emergency medical services had been provided by the all-volunteer Twin “W” First Aid Squad, which was organized in 1972.
Township Council decided in March to discontinue using the Twin “W” First Aid Squad after it failed to meet a deadline to sign a memorandum of understanding with the township. The township no longer sends the volunteers to emergency calls.
Township officials were preparing to construct a building for its paid emergency medical services unit, but when they learned that the Everett Drive property was for sale, they decided to buy the building.
That’s because buying the building will cost much less than building a new one.
The township “will save a ton of money” by purchasing the building, even with the renovations that will be needed, Council President Bryan Maher said Monday night.
“It’s a no-brainer” because the township will easily save $1 million and a year of time, Mr. Maher said, adding that the estimated cost of constructing a new building “is more than I want to say.”
Larry Hollinger, who served on the defunct volunteer ambulance squad’s board of trustees, told Township Council that the group agreed to sell the building to West Windsor Township for less than it was asking because “it was good for the township.”
Township resident Alison Miller urged Township Council to buy the property, noting that “it makes an enormous amount of sense” to buy it because it will also enhance the Municipal Complex. The complex includes a building that holds municipal offices, as well as the Police Department.
The contract of sale between Twin “W” First Aid Squad Inc. and West Windsor Township includes some of the contents of the building, including the Sean Kehler Memorial, a glass display cabinet and plaques honoring services provided by the Twin “W” emergency services workers. The items will be displayed at the Everett Drive property for as long as it is used for emergency services.
The Sean Kehler Memorial was dedicated in Mr. Kehler’s honor in 2013, two years after the 41-year-old West Windsor Township resident died unexpectedly. He had been a member of the volunteer first aid squad for 24 years, including stints as chief and president. 