Toledo City Council today approved a compromised plan to renovate and expand historic Fire Station 3 in North Toledo and also to construct a new fire station in Blair Park, near Summit Street and Suder Avenue.
The plan, which was presented to councilmen last week, was approved 11-0. Councilman Steven Steel was not present for the vote, in which council authorized the city to spend up to $344,000 toward site surveys, soil testing, and design work for the new fire station and work at the old station.
Councilman D. Michael Collins supported the plan but first asked the Bell administration to consider an alternative funding source rather than the city’s capital improvement budget.
He also accused Mayor Bell of misleading council on what the $344,000 would fund. Initially, the amount was to pay for site surveys and other work for a new station at 2000 Summit St., the current site of Jamie Farr pool. In the compromise, the same amount is to cover that same work on the renovation of the Fire Station 3 and the new station in Blair Park.
“I am sick and tired of juvenile mathematics,” Mr. Collins said.
Mayor Mike Bell dismissed the comment, saying: “Mr. Collins is entitled to his opinion, I just want to move forward.”
Deputy Mayor Steve Herwat explained that the current plan for a station in Blair Park is a smaller building than what the city had envisioned to be put on the site of Jamie Farr pool. The city also had expected to raze the pool.
Several councilmen today praised the compromise, which satisfied concerns from residents who feared permanently shuttering the building would leave the neighborhood unprotected. Toledo Fire Chief Luis Santiago also said he wanted greater fire protection in the north end.
Chief Santiago closed Station 3 in mid-September after its truck bays’ concrete floors buckled. The fire trucks and personnel were moved temporarily, but indefinitely, across the Maumee River to Station 13 on Front Street in East Toledo, about a mile away from the Bush Street firehouse.
The new station will become Fire Station 12 - the name of a former firehouse at Suder Avenue and Manhattan Boulevard that was closed in 1980. It is to be built on the site of basketball courts in Blair Park, at Adrian and Chase streets. The new station’s service area will span from north of Galena Street to south of Point Place.
Under the Bell administration’s plan, the city will build a two-bay annex onto Station 3 and convert the station into living quarters for firefighters.
The two projects are estimated to cost about $4.5 million.
Contact Ignazio Messina at: email@example.com or 419-724-6171.
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