NORTH BELLPORT - A spokesperson for the Town of Brookhaven says negotiations have begun to buy seven vacant lots for a planned expansion of the South Country Ambulance Company headquarters.

Officials say the new 26,000-square-foot facility would replace the current headquarters in East Patchogue. South Country Chief Gregory Miglino says the 80-year-old building contains an unsafe amount of mold and asbestos.

Longtime resident Bill Gilligan says he's not convinced that's good enough reason to build a new facility.

“With the correct contractor they can be taken care of,” says Gilligan.

The new building would cost $13 million. Town officials say the project would mean a property tax increase of about $95 a year for residents.