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Published: Wednesday, 8/7/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

Toledo City Council approves pair of fire projects

Additional $2.1M in costs OK'd to build 1 station, renovate another

BY TOM HENRY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Renovation of Toledo Fire Station No. 3 has been approved by the city council. Renovation of Toledo Fire Station No. 3 has been approved by the city council.
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Plans for better fire protection in North Toledo are back on track.

By a 12-0 vote, Toledo City Council agreed Tuesday to have the city pick up an additional $2.1 million in costs for two projects, a new Fire Station 12 at Suder Avenue and Chase Street and a renovation of Fire Station 3 at 701 Bush St. Fire officials have said both are necessary for better protection.

Councilmen D. Michael Collins said he wanted a professional engineering report of Fire Station 3, the city’s oldest firehouse. Councilman Tom Waniewski said the increase, which raised the total price for the two projects from $4.84 million to $6.94 million, was “very tough to swallow.”

Councilmen approved allowing private investors, led by Rudolph/​Libbe, to install a 2-megawatt solar array at 671 Spencer St.

The project, unanimously approved, will put an abandoned, 22-acre industrial site northeast of the Toledo Zoo back into use. A limited-liability company called Anthony Wayne Solar No. 1 is to sell that project’s electricity output to the zoo.

Council also unanimously agreed to have the city contribute up to $113,750 toward a long-term plan for restoring the Ottawa River, mostly from in-kind contributions and the balance of a stormwater fund.

The Army Corps of Engineers is expected to pay 65 percent, with other costs covered by past and current businesses identified by regulators as potentially responsible parties.

Some councilmen were irked that Deputy Mayor Steve Herwat, on behalf of Mayor Mike Bell’s administration, called for quick passage of nearly $1.6 million in general-fund spending, including $1.2 million for police and fire operations. The rest was requested for parks, recreation, cemeteries, and landscaping.

Councilmen unanimously agreed to fund the police and fire requests after Mr. Herwat warned them that failing to do so could cause the size of future police and fire classes to be reduced. The sum includes $600,000 for firefighter overtime and $132,310 to increase that department’s class size to 50; $200,000 for police overtime and $278,823 to increase that department’s class size to 65.

Councilman George Sarantou voiced disappointment in ongoing health and safety issues at the Greenbelt Place apartment complex along Cherry Street, near downtown. He said councilmen got assurances from the Bell administration a year ago that insect and security problems there would be addressed.

“It seems like nothing has happened,” Mr. Sarantou said. “This is absolutely deplorable and dangerous to the residents.”

Contact Tom Henry at: thenry@theblade.com or 419-724-6079.



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