TEMPERANCE - Bedford Township officials have hired a Samaria architectural firm to design a 4,900-foot addition to the Lewis Avenue fire station.
The board voted unanimously last week to hire Michael Lee Hammond Architects, one of 19 architectural firms that submitted bids for the project.
The renovation and addition to the 2,700-square-foot fire station at 7016 Lewis Ave. calls for it to get garage bays that will allow the department to house a large ladder truck and other equipment.
The proposal from Michael Lee Hammond Architects for $30,000 was the best and lowest price from the architectural firms, about 28 percent less than the next lowest bid of $38,500 from Gillett Associates, Inc. of Farmington Hills, Mich.
The Samaria architectural firm was recommended for the project by the township fire department building committee.
Fire Chief John Bofia said he was pleased that the contract went to a township firm because one of the committee's goals was to have as much work done locally as possible.
The figure on the total cost of the project was not available.
Chief Bofia said building plans and drawings from the architectural firm are expected to be ready in March, and ground could be broken in May.
"We want to be done next fall or early winter," he said.
The building on Lewis was converted for fire department use after the township bought the property, a former used car dealership, in 2005.
Last month, the township hired David Wehner, a construction manager with Mannik & Smith Group Inc. of Maumee, to oversee the project. He will be paid $91,340 for however long the project takes.
The money for the renovation and addition to fire station will come from a 1-mill levy that generates about $938,000 a year for operations of the department, including personnel costs, building improvements, land acquisitions, vehicles, and equipment.
Township officials said money from the fire department levy has been put aside yearly in anticipation of the construction and renovation of the fire station. Nearly $1 million is reserved in the account for the project.
Also, $360,000 that was obtained from the sale of the property across the street is being earmarked for the fire station renovations.
The property, land and the clubhouse at a former golf course, was bought by the township with the intentions of locating the fire station there.
However, the township shelved plans to locate the third fire station there because of development costs, causing the township to go across the street to the former used-car dealer.
The board also voted to place George Welling on the township planning commission to complete the remaining term of Tom Covrett.
Mr. Covrett had been a member of the commission for eight years.
Mr. Welling, who ran unsuccessfully last year for township clerk, will be paid $50 for each meeting that he attends.