August 30, 2014

Medina
Mostly sunny
71°F

Fire station plans stall

By HANNAH SCHAEFER
Staff Writer

BRUNSWICK — Although the city acquired a parcel of land to build a new fire station, the project has been put on hold due to a lack of funding.

Chief Jim Baird said construction of the proposed fire station, which the city plans to build on North Carpenter Road, has been delayed until further notice. In June 2007, then-Acting Chief Rick Barber hoped to break ground on the project by October or November 2007.

“We do intend to build a new station,” Baird said. “There is no set date, nor is there an actual funding trail for that station yet. It is pending passage of a tax initiative.”

Baird said there is about $1.5 million for the project, which was estimated to cost around $3.5 million, in a capital improvements fund, but without an additional funding mechanism, the station cannot be built.

In October, city council passed a resolution tied to its proposed income tax increase that earmarked $300,000 a year for fire capital improvement projects and funding to hire 12 additional firefighters. The increase was rejected by about 83 percent of voters in November.

The proposed station would replace Station No. 2 at the corner of Grafton and North Carpenter roads.

In June, the city purchased a 7.4-acre parcel of land at 507 N. Carpenter Road, Brunswick Hills Township, for $240,000, to house the proposed fire station. Medina County commissioners approved the city’s request to annex the parcel from the township in December, and Monday night council voted to accept the annexation.

Dayton-based Architectural Resources Corp. presented the city with a design for a 12,000-square-foot facility that would become the department’s new headquarters. The design included expanded living quarters, classroom space, a hose tower, three vehicle bays and a training facility. Station No. 1 at 4383 Center Road now houses the department’s administrative offices.

Baird said it’s still “somewhat up in the air” whether the city will use the design when or if the proposed new station is built.

“Our intent is if we can, we will use portions of the current design,” he said. “That remains to be seen.”

In the meantime, Station No. 2, which is about 3,500 square feet, is undergoing some renovations with the help of Brunswick’s Home Depot, Baird said.

“We’re taking one room that currently stores equipment and turning it into an office,” he said. “And we’re creating a stand-alone kitchen.”

Now, the kitchen area and sleeping quarters are in one space, Baird said. Home Depot donated paint, flooring, labor and other materials to the project, which will cost the fire department between $4,000 and $5,000, he added.

“We acknowledge and appreciate the cooperation of the Home Depot in this project,” Baird said.

Schaefer may be reached at 330-721-4048 or hschaefer@ohio.net.