BOARDMAN Firehouse renewals weighed

Early estimates are double the allotted dollar amount.
BOARDMAN -- Trustees looked over renovation proposals from a local architectural firm for two of the three fire stations here, but the cost turned out to be a little more than expected.
Representatives from Hanahan-Strollo & amp; Associates showed trustees renovation possibilities for the fire stations on South Avenue and on Shields Road at Lockwood Boulevard.
The architects concluded that replacing the fire stations, according to the specifications laid out by fire department personnel, would cost about $1.14 million each. The station on South Avenue will probably need to be replaced, but the Shields Road station could be renovated at an estimated cost of $722,905.
Money saved
Trustees set aside $1 million last year to address renovation and future building concerns of the fire department.
"That immediately tells me this plan isn't going to fly," said Trustee Tom Costello after quickly reviewing the estimates. "If we spend $2 million to build two replacement fire stations, we are not going to be able to afford to hire firefighters to put in them -- or equipment to put in them."
Fire Chief James Dorman said the ideas given to the firm were not cost-specific, but they were an assessment of what firefighters thought would be needed now and in the future. He said the renovation process would be one of give and take and trustees must now do their part in deciding what may not be cost-efficient.
Another concern facing officials is the findings from a report conducted a year ago by Tridata, an Arlington, Va.-based research company that assessed needs of the fire department. The study concluded that the township will need a fourth fire station in the near future.
Township Clerk William Leicht said it is clear that if the township spends $2 million on renovations, "a fourth station would be out of the question."
Three phases
Administrator Curt Seditz said the issue is being addressed in three phases, the first being the Shields Road and South Avenue stations. The main station on Route 224 will be next, and the third phase will be a fourth station.
Additional meetings between the architects and trustees will be scheduled to bring the work closer to the budgeted amount.
In other business, trustees passed a resolution to declare the home at 7535 Glenwood Ave. a nuisance. Police and humane officers on Monday found animals chained inside the house and large amounts of trash. Township officials are trying to locate the homeowner.

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