Struthers businessman donates land to city for new fire station
By Graig Graziosi
A new fire station may be on the horizon for Struthers thanks to a donation from a local business owner with firefighting in his blood.
Dan Becker, the owner of Davis-Becker funeral homes, purchased a lot between Elm Court and Elm Street that formerly belonged to Faith Fellowship Church. He purchased the land – just under 1 acre – with the intention of donating it to the city to build a new fire station.
Becker was a volunteer firefighter for 20 years, and his father, Hazen Becker, was a volunteer firefighter for more than 50 years.
Dan Becker has requested that if a fire station is built on the site, it be named after his father.
“The city has needed a new main fire station for a while now. Some of the equipment, like the fire engines, are too heavy to bring inside the current station, so I’d like to see one built that can accommodate the equipment,” Becker said. “The city’s been talking about it for years. Hopefully this will help move the process along.”
The city has been considering construction of a fire station since at least the early part of the decade; in 2013, the city produced a report identifying and analyzing four potential sites for a new stations. Becker’s site is included in the report and was appraised at $90,800, though Becker eventually acquired the property for $56,000.
Becker hasn’t had any official discussions with the city concerning the donation outside of informing city council and mayor of his intentions. He said before he makes the donation official, he’d like to see plans for the city to raise the funds for the fire station, a process he realizes may take some time.
“There’s no time frame on my donation, so long as it’s reasonable. I think a year or two is reasonable for drawing up plans and figuring out how to secure funding,” Becker said. “Other cities find money to fund their projects; I’m sure we can do the same.”
Mayor Terry Stocker said the first step toward a new station will be sitting with council members and developing verbiage for the donation, and then identifying avenues for funding the project.
“Mr. Becker’s always been supportive of the city. He provided us with a skate park, he’s been a Rotarian, he served on the board of education,” Stocker said.
If it is built, the current fire station on Elm Street likely would be closed. Stocker said response times may increase slightly – up to a minute – but service would otherwise be uninterrupted.