Officials weigh in on new station
The project would need to be done in phases, adding to the cost projection.
By DENISE DICK
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
BOARDMAN -- Township officials agree that the main fire station won't meet the fire department's long-term needs, but they want to pare down the $4.1 million estimated cost for a new station.
Township trustees met Monday for a work session with MS Consultants, the Youngstown company that recommended in a report last month that the U.S. 224 fire station be replaced.
The estimated cost was $4.1 million. Even with renovations, the station, built in 1926, won't meet the department's needs for the next 20 years, the report said.
K. Anthony Hayek of MS said the company was asked to look at renovating vs. rebuilding the station at the same site. They weren't asked to consider other sites for a new station.
He said the cost estimate is high, in part, because the station couldn't be shut down so the project would need to be done in phases, adding to the cost. The estimate also includes demolition of the buildings on the site.
Trustee Kathy Miller asked about the possibility of selling the property where the station is and moving the fire station somewhere else.
The township owns more property in the rear of the government center, said Trustee Tom Costello.
"Is it large enough to build something like that on it?" he asked.
Fire Chief James Dorman said he believes the Route 224 location is ideal because each year, 13 percent to 14 percent of the department's calls center in that one square mile surrounding the main station.
Miller suggested moving the administrative aspects of the department, like the chief's and fire prevention offices, to the government center site and keeping the firefighters at the Route 224 spot.
"We know that we need a new building, but how much more can we afford," Costello said.
When the other two stations were rebuilt and renovated, the initial proposal was much higher than what the township paid because what was included was scaled back, he said.
The township has already talked about the need to find additional revenue in the next two years, Costello said.
Hayek said that trustees first need to determine how much they can afford to spend and then see what can be accomplished with that amount.
He said that MS would look at the site behind the government center to determine whether it could accommodate a fire station.
The estimated $4.1 million cost to build a new station includes demolition of the former maintenance, fire prevention office and vehicle storage buildings and the station, adjacent office and living quarters as well as building a new station and vehicle storage building.