Construction of the new Fairfield Twp. fire station, which will replace the undersized Five Points station, will begin this summer as trustees unanimously approved a $3.99 million contract with an area builder.
The fire station is needed, trustees say, because the conditions at the current Tylersville Road facility, known as Station 211, are cramped. The 3,200-square-foot station has undersized offices, co-ed sleeping quarters, storage bins in the hallway, an inadequate driveway and a pair of undersized vehicle bays, officials said. The township has to order undersized fire engines and ambulances — which cost more — to fit them in the current station.
The proposed fire station will incorporate three areas: an administration area, a living area and an operations area. The operations area will include four apparatus bays. Construction by Cincinnati United Contractors will begin in July and wrap up in March 2019.
Despite the unanimous vote, Trustee Joe McAbee said his “yes” vote was “with objection” as he didn’t feel the township needed a $4 million, 15,000-square-foot station with today’s staffing levels. He also disagreed with sleeping quarters for 10 staffers and a brick facade.
“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.
“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.”
MORE: Fairfield Twp. fire chief: ‘We’re just out of room’ (2016)
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.”
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