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Published: Wednesday, 5/12/2004

Bedford Township: Monroe' s Kohler to design township's third fire station

BY LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

TEMPERANCE - The Bedford Township Fire Board has recommended Monroe architect John Kohler as the person it wants to design the township's third fire station.

But township Fire Chief John Bofia said he's becoming discouraged by the length of time it seems to be taking to get started on construction of the much-needed third station.

"I don't know if [township board members] want to go forward with it or not go forward with it," Chief Bofia said. "I know I've done everything I can do so far with it, so

the rest will be up to them."

Bedford Township officials spent $300,000 to purchase a 5.6-acre piece of the former Firecreek Golf Course in February 2002 as the site for a future third fire station. The location - the former clubhouse and garage of the former Firecreek Golf Course with immediate access to Lewis Avenue - is ideally situated to service the southeastern portion of the township, local officials said at the time.

But while some infrastructure and site work has been completed, and volunteers began responding to calls from the former golf course barn in December, the township hasn't yet moved forward with a site plan for the facility.

"I'm waiting for a date to have a meeting between the fire commission and the township board," said township trustee Dennis Steinman, who is the board's liaison with the fire commission.

"I asked for one five weeks ago, and I'm still waiting for one. If we keep waiting, we're going to lose that window of opportunity. People are going to get busy and rates are going to go up," Mr. Steinman said.

Chief Bofia said his department needs the new station, and that its construction is a priority in order to cut response times to that portion of the township.

"If they would say go ahead, it would probably take four or five months for the architect to do his work and then have it reviewed, and then another half a year or more to build it," Chief Bofia said.

Money to pay for a new two-bay drive-through station at the site will come from the one-mill fire protection levy township voters have paid for years, and not from the township's general fund. The station is expected to cost between $1 million and $1.5 million, although a closer estimate will be available once Mr. Kohler is hired and finishes his design.

Contact Larry P. Vellequette at:

lvellequette@theblade.com

or 419-724-6091.



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