Township officials will try to find grants to help pay for the new station.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
LIBERTY -- The township's fire department may have found a new home.
An acre, located off Belmont Avenue behind Wendy's, is being recommended by Fire Chief Michael Durkin as the new location for the department.
"It's perfect," Durkin said Tuesday. "We were looking for something in that area, and we found it."
What makes the parcel ideal is that the owner, Punit Prem Holdings Inc., wants to donate the land to the township, said Pat Ungaro, township administrator.
"The property is valued around $400,000," Ungaro said. "It's a great deal for us."
Trustee Jodi Stoyak concurred, saying the location will also help the department respond quickly to emergencies in all areas of the township.
Township trustees are expected to accept the land during this week's regular meeting. Trustees Gary Litch and Jack Simon could not be reached to comment.
Getting the funds
"We'd like to start working right away on getting a new station built," Ungaro said.
Ungaro and Durkin said they will start trying to find grants to help pay for the new station.
"I've already met with state Sen. Marc Dann today, and he is going to try and help," Durkin said.
He noted township officials are planning to close the two current fire stations and create the new centralized facility.
The current facilities are more than 30 years old, Durkin said.
The station on the north end of Belmont Avenue was built in the early 1970s and has constant maintenance problems, Trustee Jack Simon has said.
Durkin noted that there is no room to expand the Belmont facility and the other fire station on Logan Way is near a steep hill.
The hill makes it difficult for firefighters to leave the facility quickly, Durkin said.
The chief noted that the two stations are also too small to house new firetrucks and equipment, which are now built larger.