Hamilton set to buy property for new fire station

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

City Council expected to buy a nearly 2.5-arce property on South Erie Boulevard to replace Station 26.

Hamilton City Council will clear the way for the new fire station to be constructed this year.

The Laurel Avenue fire station, known as Station 26, will be relocated when construction starts this year on its replacement in the 1900 block of South Erie Boulevard.

City Council will vote on a sales and purchase agreement with the Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) of Hamilton on Feb. 8 for the sale of the nearly 2.5-acre site that consists of South Erie Boulevard addresses 1796 and 1990. The land was cleared at the end of December, which included a former Rally’s restaurant and a vacant strip plaza.

The CIC, which purchased the parcels for $275,000, will sell the L-shaped property to the city for just under $500,000. Vanderhorst said the city would use Community Development Block Grant funds. The federal CBDG Program supports community development activities that “build stronger and more resilient communities,” according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Hamilton will consolidate the parcels, which Vanderhorst said “they have already been remediated, they’ve been demoed, they’re ready to go.”

The station is being built because of the age of Station 26 in the Lindenwald neighborhood at 651 Laurel Ave. This station was built in 1910 and fire engines and ambulances are bigger and heavier than they were a century ago, city officials said.

A price has not been estimated at this time, said Hamilton Fire Chief Mark Mercer. Community Design Alliance provided a conceptual design, the chief said the project has not yet been sent out for bids and there are several options they need to consider, such as the number of drive-through bays, which adds floor space and roof size.

Regardless, this station will replace an undersized Laurel Avenue location.

But the city will have $4 million on hand for the project as that’s the amount they earmarked from the $33.6 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds it’s received from the federal government. The city has also earmarked $10 million in ARPA funds for another public safety capital project as it plans to construct a new Justice Center on Hanover Street that will house the police station and municipal courts. A timeline for that project has also not yet been set.

The decision to relocate Station 26 from Lindenwald to South Erie Boulevard was made a couple of years ago, but residents were not happy with the decision, according to a 2021 Journal-News story.

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