“I objected strongly about a $4 million fire station,” said McAbee at a recent trustees meeting. “I just don’t think we need that big of a fire station.”
Instead, McAbee said the fire station should be $3 million, and supports the suggestion of smaller satellite-style stations made by township consultant Ken Geis.
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“We could take that same money and build two $2 million stations and really cover the township,” McAbee said.
Trustees Susan Berding and Shannon Hartkemeyer said the idea of two satellite stations was briefly discussed several months ago.
“I think we had kicked that idea around, the two satellite stations, but the discussion and the way we’ve headed for the last several months has been (about) one replacement station,” Berding said.
Berding and Hartkemeyer also said the building is the size they need, not necessarily for today’s staffing levels but for the future.
“I do think the space is needed if we’re forward-thinking into how this township is going to continue to grow,” said Berding. “We built (the Morris Road fire headquarters) around 2000, and we’re busting at the seams. So I think in anticipation of future growth, and Story Point being there, I think it makes sense to do this size.”
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Story Point, a high-end retirement facility, is under construction on the land on Gilmore Road near Hamilton-Mason Road.
Hartkemeyer said a brick-facade building would set the tone for the rest of the development of Gilmore Road.
“I think we’re interested in attracting other businesses over on that corridor, that are nice, that are high-end businesses,” she said. “I think we need to be leaders and set the right type of structure to go in there for the community.”