By the week of April 9, one of three companies will begin designing a new fire station for Fairfield Twp. that will cost an estimated $4 million.
Trustees will choose by March 23 between three short-listed companies — Cincinnati United Contractors, D.A.G. Construction Co., and Oswald Company — that sent proposals to build a 14,000-square-foot fire station on Gilmore Road.
Then by June, Fairfield Twp. officials are expecting construction to start on the year-long project to build the new station to replace the outdated, and undersized, Tylersville Road station.
MORE: Fairfield Twp. fire chief: ‘We’re just out of room’ (May 2016)
“This is a great step forward for our community, and finally all the pieces have come together to make this firehouse a reality for our community,” said Fairfield Twp. Trustee Shannon Hartkemeyer. “This new firehouse will serve our Fairfield Twp. community for generations to come.”
This new fire station has been a topic of discussion for several years, well before the current board was elected to office.
In December 2013, the trustees at the time borrowed $5 million in notes to pay for a new fire station. But nothing happened with that money, except for the township paying tens of thousands of dollars in interest payments. The trustees eventually paid back that loan late last spring.
The conditions at the Tylersville Road fire station, known as Station 211, are cramped. It includes undersized offices, co-ed sleeping quarters, storage bins in the hallway, an inadequate driveway and a pair of undersized vehicle bays. In the back of the station, the township’s road department stores several pieces of equipment, including snow plow attachments.
The proposed fire station will incorporate three areas: a 1,150-square-foot administration area, a 3,310-square-foot living area and an 8,460-square-foot operations area. The operations area will include four apparatus bays in a 6,400-square-foot area.
The Tylersville Road fire station, which includes a former 19th-century school building and two additions — the last in the 1970 — is a total of 3,200 square feet.
Fairfield Twp. had to order smaller fire engines and ambulances — which cost more — for them to fit into the undersized fire station.
Because of the station’s undersized features, the department also requires more equipment to be stored at the headquarters on Morris Road. Three ambulances are stored inside in one of the two bays, and the rescue boat is stored in the space between the two bays, said Fairfield Twp. Fire Chief Timothy Thomas.
There are also several pieces of equipment stored outside, and “anything you keep outside has the potential to deteriorate at a faster rate.”
“It’s a potential problem,” he said. “We’re looking to get some space and where we anticipate (our equipment) will last longer, and will save money.”
Financing for the fire station project will be decided at the next township trustee meeting on Wednesday, at which Hartkemeyer said various funding options would be reviewed.