Chief: Fire station expansion to start in Oct.
By Ashley Luthern
Construction on a fire station expansion is slated to begin in October, says the chief of the Western Reserve Joint Fire District.
Chief David Comstock Jr. said the $1 million project would double the size of Station 92 on state Route 170 near Dobbins Road.
The district’s attorney Mark Finamore said the bid packages were picked up this week and the fire board will open bids at the end of the month.
“The plans include an apparatus room and a classroom for training,” Finamore said.
Comstock said he hoped the six-month construction project would begin this summer, but it was delayed by the acquisition of the house to the south of the fire station.
The district paid $80,000 for the property, which included the cost of demolishing the structure, he added.
“We are trying to do multiple things at one time: Go through zoning, planning commission and some plat changes,” Comstock said.
The expansion and a $414,000 fire engine purchased earlier this year are being paid for using a 1-mill capital improvement levy, approved by voters in May 2011, that generates about $340,000 annually.
Comstock has said the engine and expansion will take about three years’ worth of the levy money.
The fire district also is exploring leasing mineral rights to oil and natural-gas companies for 18 acres at Station 93, located at the intersection of South Hubbard and New Castle roads on Poland’s “North Hill,” Comstock said.
“Like anybody else, we’re exploring it, but at this point, there’s nothing concrete that I’m aware of. ... One of our thoughts is if we are fairly certain that a well will be placed there, it may be beneficial to move it onto public property where we can control it and receive money back to the residents as opposed to a private company. That’s a consideration,” the chief said.
Comstock said at this stage, the fire district is only doing preliminary research on the subject.