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The latest plans for the Sylvania Township Fire Station No. 1 have been unveiled, and trustees have voted to go out for bid on construction of the new station.
The drawing, presented by Sylvania Township Fire Department Chief Jeffrey Kowalski and Joe Vetter from Vetter Design Group Toledo during this week's trustees meeting, shows the station still facing Monroe Street and located on the existing site of the station at 6633 Monroe St.
It is to have three truck bays, sleeping quarters, kitchen space, and a workout room.
The project includes demolition of the existing building, site paving, and construction of a new building.
Construction is to begin this spring, and is expected to be mostly finished by November.
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 when a 1.25-mill general operating levy was given the okay. The township fire department provides service in both the township and the city of Sylvania.
Several changes had to be made to the newly proposed structure to accommodate the elevation on Monroe Street.
Chief Kowalski said a blind spot exists across the railroad tracks near the station. The current station is three feet below the road, but the new building will be six inches higher than the street.
“...It will be safer for us when we exit the station,” Chief Kowalski said, adding that, “we're pretty happy with the layout.”
Township trustee Kevin Haddad, who remains skeptical about construction costs, has concerns about what happens during construction of the new station.
“I think when we have to shut it down and move the firemen out, it's going to leave us in a jeopardy situation,” said Mr. Haddad who has not been pleased with the Monroe Street site choice, and instead has repeatedly expressed his preference for a site on Erie Street.
Chief Kowalski.who assured him that the safety of the public is his highest priority, said response times will be “almost the same.”
“We will keep public safety paramount,” he said. “I think we won't have any issues there.”
Lourdes University has offered the firefighters from station no. 1 temporary housing and facilities on Brint Road, next to an old bus garage.
Township administrator John Zeitler has said the township originally borrowed $8.5 million, and has spent about $6.5 million of it, leaving a balance of about $1.93 million that's available for construction of the last station.
Mr. Vetter said money-saving techniques have saved around $200,000 so far and that cost is always at the back of his mind. "We did a fair amount of value engineering in terms of money saving ideas based on construction techniques." For example, using a product for the front of the building that has the appearance of brick.
“Bids aren't in yet,” he said, “but we felt we did our due diligence in regard to those things.”
During the meeting, trustees voted 2-1 to authorize a resolution to allow Vetter Design to solicit bids for the project. Mr. Haddad was the only dissenter.
Trustee John Jennewine said the project will be beneficial for residents. “I think the entire community is looking forward to it,” he said.
If all goes as planned, Mr. Vetter said, demolition on the existing structure could begin in late March or early April.
Contact Kelly McLendon at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-206-0356 or on Twitter at @MyTownSylvania.