The township was not immune to the issues COVID has raised with the supply chain and workforce availability, which put a wrench in the works from the beginning.
“When we submitted for permits to the county, COVID delayed that review process so we got started with actual construction a lot later than what we had anticipated,” Fire Chief Rick Prinz said. “Once the shovels hit the ground, there were some unanticipated problems we had with the soil. It took time and funding to deal with the soil and then that whole delay pushed us into a condition because we didn’t start on time of where we had to deal with the winter.”
The township also added $27,000 to the price, buying a parcel of land behind the fire station to expand the green space area for hose testing, room for training and potentially additional parking down the road.
The new station has a number of amenities that will actually save money in the long-run, according to Prinz. For instance, the “four-fold” doors where vehicles exit the station, open more quickly and are much cheaper to maintain compared to roll-up doors. Ceiling fans were installed in every area of the station to keep air circulating so firefighters aren’t constantly adjusting the heat and air conditioning. Another plus is a large workout room — the old fitness area was barely bigger than a large walk-in closet. Prinz said it is crucial for the firefighters/medics to stay physically fit and this will encourage that.
“The additional work on Station 73 was unexpected, but I guess we should have expected it with the condition of the economy and the amount of building materials and the extension of time for COVID,” Trustee Ann Becker said. “But I guess it’s par of doing business.”