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Published: Thursday, 1/13/2005

Richfield Township: New fire station taking shape

BY MIKE JONES
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Voters approved a proposal for the Richfield Township fire station on Sylvania Avenue in 2003. Voters approved a proposal for the Richfield Township fire station on Sylvania Avenue in 2003.
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A new Richfield Township fire station, bedeviled by problems since voters approved the proposal in 2003, is taking shape on Sylvania Avenue between Washburn and Richfield-Center roads.

Twice proposals for construction were rejected because they were too expensive. The soaring cost of steel at the time required changes in the initial design so a proposal could be affordable.

When construction was about to get under way last year, a subcontractor had the wrong specifications for the building.

"That set us back,'' Mr. Tate said, "but they're out there now, the steel has been delivered and we're under construction.''

He said underground work, such as installing a septic system and installing plumbing and wiring have been completed.

Mr. Tate said he expects the building to be ready this spring, "but I hesitate to say it,'' after the earlier delays.

Voters had twice rejected levy requests for the fire station.

The construction is under way because voters passed a 2.8-mill measure expected to raise about $1.4 million for construction.

At this time of year, weather always plays a big part in the progress of construction, but Mr. Tate anticipates that the department will be consolidated in the building by summer.

The four-bay station is meant to replace two outdated buildings that house the township's fire-fighting apparatus.

The volunteer department currently makes runs from a station in Berkey and another near the site of the building under

construction.

That structure will probably revert to use as a maintenance building, and the station in Berkey may be deeded to the village.

Berkey Mayor Barbara Huff said there have been informal talks between the village and Richfield Township trustees, but she doesn't anticipate anything being discussed formally until Richfield has its equipment in the new facility.



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