Sylvania Township Trustees on Tuesday voted 2-1 to enter into a contract with a local company to design a new Fire Station No. 1 in its current location, but the subject continues to be a topic of distress for at least one trustee.
Trustees Neal Mahoney and John Jennewine voted to hire Vetter Design Group of Toledo for architectural and engineering services in the amount of $150,000, effective immediately.
Trustee Kevin Haddad voted against it.
The project includes demolition of the existing building, site paving, and construction of a new building. Construction is to begin in March, and is expected to be substantially completed by November, 2013.
Fire Station No. 1 will be the last of three fire stations to be replaced as part of a capital campaign approved by voters in 2008, with passage of a 1.25-mill general operating levy. The township fire department provides assistance and service in both the township and the city of Sylvania.
Fire Stations Nos. 2 and 3 were moved when they underwent construction: Station No. 2 moved from Central Avenue (west of I-75) to McCord Road, and Station No. 3 moved from Monroe Street to the corner of Haddon and Whiteford Roads, a block north.
When the trustees met on Aug. 7, Mr. Mahoney and Mr. Jennewine voted for a resolution to rescind a February, 2010, motion that had removed building at the existing Monroe Street site from consideration. But Mr. Haddad wasn't pleased with the Monroe Street choice and chose to vote down the proposed resolution.
He repeated his preference for a site at 7610 Erie St. and was upset with the idea of taking back a resolution previously made.
"I am totally upset that we are moving ahead on this project," he said.
"If we're doing contracting, we should at least do a bid-out service. I think it's going to well exceed the money that we have."
Mr. Zeitler has said that the township originally borrowed $8.5 million in bond-issued funds, and has spent about $6.5 million of it, leaving a balance of about $1.93 million that's available for construction of the third station.
Mr. Jennewine and Mr. Mahoney both voted to enter into the contract with Vetter Design, and did not argue with Mr. Haddad during the meeting, as has happened in past meetings on the issue.
Only five community members attended the meeting and none spoke.
"I'm proud to say we do have a contract," said township administrator John Zeitler stating that the township's counsel, John Borrel, made a few suggestions for the contract that were implemented.
When Mr. Haddad expressed concern about finances, Mr. Zeitler explained that he has made the township's budgetary constraints very apparent to the design firm.
"Vetter Design Group is very aware of our budget," Mr. Zeitler said.
The firm has built other fire stations and he said township leaders have met with the architects to discuss potential financial challenges.
Mr. Haddad wasn't convinced.
"I just feel it's not the right place to build it," he said.
Contact Kelly McLendon at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-206-0356 or on Twitter at @MyTownSylvania.