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Published: Tuesday, 9/29/2009

Stimulus cash sought to replace Lambertville fire station

BY MARK REITER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Bedford Township is pursuing $3.6 million in federal stimulus funds to replace the fire station in Lambertville. Bedford Township is pursuing $3.6 million in federal stimulus funds to replace the fire station in Lambertville.
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TEMPERANCE - Bedford Township is pursuing $3.6 million in federal stimulus funds to replace the aging, undersized, and inadequate fire station in Lambertville.

The 16,000-square-foot station at 3445 West Dean Rd. was recommended in an architect's report in 2005 to be torn down and rebuilt.

Township Fire Chief John Bofia said a grant application was written to obtain the federal money to replace the fire station with a larger, modern facility.

The grant was submitted in July to the Department of Homeland Security.

The $3.6 million grant would cover 70 percent of the project, with the rest of the money coming from a local match.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act/Department of Homeland Security Fire Station Construction Grant earmarked $210 million in federal stimulus money for fire station construction projects that are shovel-ready.

The study by Monroe architect John Kohler said the station suffers from deficient parking, deteriorating masonry that needs repairs, small bays with doors that are too short, a lack of a decontamination area and adequate restroom-shower facilities, and kitchen and meeting areas that do not meet basic construction and safety codes.

The nearly five-year old study projected the cost of a new fire station at $2.4 million.

Chief Bofia said the additional $800,000 in the grant proposal would cover road, drainage, and other infrastructure improvements needed to accommodate the new fire station.

Among the infrastructure improvements would be paving gravel roads near the fire station to accommodate fire equipment vehicles.

"There is a lot more site work than what is stated in the architect's report," the chief said.

The township purchased a house that is behind the Lambertville Fire Station in 2005 to allow future expansion of the station. The $160,000 paid by the township came from the fire department's 1-mill fire levy.

The township is using money from the levy for the nearly $1 million expansion of the Lewis Avenue Fire Station, which is expected to be completed in November.

If the fire department gets the grant, Chief Bofia estimated that architectural and planning construction would take about six months to complete, with construction taking another six months.

Plans submitted with the grant call for the new fire station to have a minimum of 14,000 square feet and an expanded parking area, the chief said.

The Lasalle Township Fire Department is also pursuing federal stimulus money for the addition to the township fire station on Dixie Highway.

Chief Tim DeSloover said an application for $180,000 was submitted to the Department of Homeland Security.

Construction on the 1,150-square foot addition is expected to begin this week.



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