Though money remains the key issue in finalizing any plans for the township’s main fire-station project, progress is being made.
Jason Loree, township administrator, received an appraisal last week for the Ford, Lincoln-Mercury property that sits across Southern Boulevard from the current property on U.S. Route 224.
Vantell Associates Inc., the firm hired by the board of trustees, appraised the property at $1.57 million, and that’s right on target, said fire Chief George Brown.
“We’re very close there,” Brown said in reference to what the township estimated the property was worth. “It means the trustees will have to make a decision.”
Loree said there are other properties the township is considering. He refused to give exact locations because the board has yet to discuss them in detail, but he did say the properties are near Southern Park Mall and the Surgical Hospital at Southwoods.
He said he expected the trustees to discuss details of the latest appraisal and the potential of the other properties in executive session during their Monday night meeting.
Loree added that nothing is set in stone, and progress depends on how much the other appraisals are and if the township can devise a plan to fund the project. He does expect a decision to be made within the next couple of months, he added.
“I hate to say it, but we might be at [the main station] longer,” Loree said, until the township finds other ways to renovate it. “We’re trying to get [the project] at the most-reduced cost as possible.”
Last month, Loree said the trustees are trying to ensure money for the project comes out of the general fund so it wouldn’t affect the taxpayers.
“It’s a long and tedious process,” Brown said. But as long as the township is taking steps forward, it’s a good thing, he added.
The project has been in discussion for some time. The current station was built in 1923 and has experienced several issues since then, including water damage, space restrictions and structural disfigurements.