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 Shelby Township Fire Department officials and members of the Shelby Township Board of Trustees cut the ribbon to the new $1.9 million Fire Station No. 4 Oct. 31.

Shelby Township Fire Department officials and members of the Shelby Township Board of Trustees cut the ribbon to the new $1.9 million Fire Station No. 4 Oct. 31.

Photo provided by Shelby Township

Shelby Township cuts ribbon to new fire station on 25 Mile Road

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published November 11, 2019

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Officials from the Shelby Township Board of Trustees and the Shelby Township Fire Department cut the ribbon to a new $1.9 million fire station on 25 Mile Road Oct. 31.

The new fire station, Fire Station No. 4, is roughly a mile and a half north of the former Fire Station No. 4, and it is a near-replica of Fire Station No. 5, which is 7,400 square feet.

The new Shelby Township Fire Station No. 4 is located at 13561 25 Mile Road, near Schoenherr Road, and will serve the township’s northeast quadrant.

The station is the second new building for the Fire Department in three years, as officials opened Fire Station No. 5 at 47460 Schoenherr Road, just north of 21 Mile Road, in 2017.

“In less than three years, we’ve added two fire stations and 10 firefighters for the protection of this community, and if you look at the balance sheet, you couldn’t tell,” Fire Chief James Swinkowski said. “Most communities would have gone out for additional taxes and had special elections to do this. With our department’s planning and having cash reserves on hand, we can do this — two stations, 10 firefighters and two staff — all with cash.”

Before the opening of Fire Station No. 5, the former site of Fire Station No. 4, on Schoenherr just north of 23 Mile Road, was the only station to serve the township on the east side of the M-53 Expressway, which accounts for more than 40% of the department’s service calls.

“The plan was to have five stations: our headquarters on 23 Mile west of Van Dyke, and four substations, one in each of the four corners of the township,” Swinkowski said.

“The old Station 4 was built in 1993, centrally located on Schoenherr just north of 23 Mile, to service the east side of the township until such a time as population growth allowed us to address the need for the fifth station, which was finished in 2017.

“Once that was completed, it was time to relocate Station No. 4 to address the growth on the northern side. The Board of Trustees felt as strongly as I did about completing this project so we can provide the best possible service to our residents,” Swinkowski said.

He said they have been working hard since he became chief in January of 2013 to address the budgeting needs not only for the station, but for the additional manpower that is needed to meet the growing demands of the residents.

“The opening of Station No. 4 is a huge achievement for the township,” he said.

The opening of Station No. 4 culminates a master plan that the township developed long before Swinkowski was hired in 1991.

“This station, in this location, is satisfying the original master plan that was set in the late ’70s or early ’80s, when they set the master plan for us to have five stations,” he said. “This has been a long time coming.”

The new station will be staffed by four to five firefighters and equipped with an ambulance, an engine and a utility vehicle.

The township’s newest public safety location has some of the community’s oldest history.

The new fire station site was home to one of the original Prestonville settlements, which date back to 1826 when John Tupper and Ira Preston settled the area with Macomb County’s first sawmill.

Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis said that what’s truly remarkable is the way Swinkowski used strategic planning and budgeting to achieve this project without increasing taxes, incurring debt or reducing services.

“Since 2010, we’ve added nearly 10,000 residents to our township, and that means we need more resources to provide services.”

Stathakis said this is a huge accomplishment and an asset that was added to the township.

“I’m incredibly proud of the way Chief Swinkowski and his firefighters and the Board of Trustees accomplished this by building two new fire stations and hiring 10 more firefighters without asking for more revenue and increasing the burden on the taxpayers. It was a tremendous accomplishment and took a team effort,” he said.

“The new Fire Station No. 4 is the final phase of Chief Swinkowski’s strategic vision to provide fire and EMS service to our growing, prosperous township. Along with the new Fire Station No. 5 at 47460 Schoenherr Road, near 21 Mile Road, the new Fire Station No. 4 at Schoenherr and 25 Mile Road ensures we have optimal response times and resources throughout the township,” said Stathakis.

The fire station had been expected to open late last year, but issues with a fiber optic cable delayed the opening.

For more information, call the township at (586) 731-5100.