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April 16, 2014

New fire station may be on tap for southeast side

By Terry Oparka
C & G Staff Writer

The council will consider shelling out $3.7 million over two years for a new Fire Station 4, on Maple, east of John R, as they ponder the best way to use the $25 million fund surplus.

The $25 million represents 53 percent of the general fund expenditures.

“The 20-30 percent range is what we’re suggesting for the fund balance,” said Troy City Manager Brian Kischnick. 

The council will consider construction of the new station as part of the budget process in April, and council members listened to a presentation by Troy Fire Chief Bill Nelson at a study session following the April 7 meeting.  

He explained that Station 4, the second busiest fire station in the city and the only station to house a heavy rescue unit apparatus, was built in ’68 and was expanded in ’88.

“At 5,116 square feet, it’s the smallest one we have,” Nelson said. “The bays were not designed for the current apparatus.” He noted that the trucks must be backed in, which becomes problematic when there is only one firefighter available to do so. “There is very little room between apparatuses.

“The floors are sinking. There’s no designated women’s restroom,” he added.

Nelson compared the available office space at Station 4 to a large closet and said there’s limited space for physical fitness equipment, which the firefighters provide themselves and which is essential, as heart disease is the leading cause of death among firefighters, Nelson said.

He said the new proposed floor plan was 10,500 square feet, “in keeping with most of our stations.”

Nelson said that it would be cheaper to tear down the old building and construct a new one rather than renovate the current facility.

“We have a plan to build the new one next to the old one,” he explained. When the new station is completed, the old fire station would be torn down.

Mayor Dane Slater said that if the council approves earmarking the funds to build the new station, construction would not start until 2016.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Terry Oparka at toparka@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1054.