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Published: Thursday, 4/27/2006

Maumee to delay work on service department building, garage

BY ELIZABETH A. SHACK
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Maumee officials have decided not to proceed with the construction of a new service department building and garage at the same time as it is building the new fire station.

The city will still make plans for the service building to account for its future construction at the same site as the fire station, 220 Illinois Ave. near Kingsbury Street. The city bought the land for more than $1.5 million last fall.

Council approved a contract last week with The Ballmer Co. for an engineering survey, subsurface soils exploration, and design development for both buildings, at a total cost of $82,900.

The building and lands committee recommended that council include the site plan for the service building along with the fire station so that the retention pond can be built either to serve both buildings or to be expanded when the service building is built.

Finance director David Hazard told council that the city could afford to build the service building now, but he thought it would be more prudent to build it later instead of proceeding with two expensive construction projects at the same time.

The service building is projected to cost about $5 million. The fire station will probably cost more than that with site work included, Larry Gamble, director of public service, said.

At a committee meeting last month, one councilman questioned why the city should wait since construction costs are expected to rise. Other councilmen agreed with Mr. Hazard that it would be better from a financial planning perspective for the city to wait.

Also, the department does not need the building immediately, Mr. Gamble told a council committee considering the issue.

A new service garage would help cut down on the time and expense associated with starting and maintaining the city's truck fleet in the winter. Keeping the vehicles inside could also reduce costs, Mr. Gamble said.

The mayor's application for a special-use permit for the fire station will have a public hearing on May 22 before the planning commission.

The station will replace Station No. 1 on East William Street.



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