By EMMALEE C. TORISK
City officials are looking into a location, as well as funding sources, for a proposed 7,300-square-foot main fire station to replace the outdated 70-year-old facility on Elm Street, said Mayor Terry Stocker.
In June, the city commissioned a facility assessment study after finding the current fire station can’t support the weight of modern firefighting equipment. In addition, it lacks sufficient office and training space and coed living facilities.
“The fire station has outlived its time,” Stocker said. “We’ve been speaking with the fire chief and the firefighters looking at what other communities have, and looking at what we need. We’re not trying to go overboard.”
The study, prepared by MS Consultants Inc. of Youngstown, indicates that a new station with two garage bays would cost about $1.7 million. It offered four potential sites for the facility.
Those sites selected for review were the current fire station site on Elm Street, church property at Elm Street and Elm Court, city-owned property at the northeast corner of Elm and Garfield streets, and city-owned property at Stewart and Elm streets.
Of the above sites, early support has gravitated toward the final option, Stocker said, explaining that it would “allow a more campuslike setting” for the fire, road and police departments, as well as city hall activities. In addition, the city already owns that property, which is occupied by a closed skate park.
Though the fire station has mostly outlived its usefulness, the city’s main concern now should be its roads, Stocker said.
According to a citywide roadway condition rating analysis prepared by MS Consultants, more than half the city’s 142 asphalt streets will require resurfacing within the next four years, while half of those will need more immediate attention, likely in the next year or two.