Plymouth Township trustees divided on replacement of aging fire station
Posted On: May 130, 2023
PLYMOUTH TWP. — With the Plymouth Township Board deeply divided on whether or not to build a new fire station, trustees voted Tuesday to study the issue before deciding the future of the township’s Station No. 2.
Supervisor Kurt Heise said he is in favor of replacing the structure at 41212 Wilcox Road.
“Fire Station No. 2 is going to be 50 years old,” Heise said. “In my opinion, I think the building should be razed and I think we should build a new fire station on the existing site.”
Trustee John Stewart agreed, noting the township board unanimously previously approved new apartments nearby, and that neighboring businesses also rely on the fire department for service.
“I want a report from A to Z,” Stewart said. “I want to hear the state standards for service of firefighters to their people.”
The Plymouth Township Fire Department, which handled more than 3,200 runs in 2021, according to statistics on its website, operates out of three stations.
In addition to Station No. 2, the fire department is headquartered at 9911 N. Haggerty Road at Station No. 1, and Station No. 3 is at 13600 Beck Road. The department has 24 full-time firefighters, a fire inspector and chief.
A matter of priorities
In a 2023 goal-setting session earlier this year, the board was divided over whether replacing Station No. 2 should be a priority.
On a scale of 1-5, three members of the board — Heise, Stewart and Clerk Jerry Vorva — rated replacing the current station a “5,” or the highest priority.
Trustees Jen Buckley, Chuck Curmi and Audrey Monaghan, rated it a “1,” or the lowest priority, while Treasurer Bob Doroshewitz grabbed the middle ground with a “3” rating.
In something of a compromise, members of the board agreed this week to go forward with a feasibility study conducted by Heise, the township engineer and planner, and Fire Chief Pat Conely.
The board votes 6-0, with Monaghan absent, to proceed with the study and set a Dec. 1 deadline for a report.
"The decision to build a fire station is a huge decision and it’s going to be one of the biggest decisions we would make in this decade," Heise said.
'Beyond the rehabilitation stage'
Conely said he believes the station "is pretty outdated and beyond the rehabilitation stage."
“We make it work, but it could definitely be better,” he said.
In addition to being generally out of date, Conely said the station is not energy efficient and lacks space in every regard. An additional bay — with larger doors to accommodate the larger, modern trucks — is needed, he said.
“Our ladder truck won’t even fit in this station,” Conely said.
He also noted the building lacks storage space for firefighter gear, has tight living quarters, a small kitchen, only one restroom and no dedicated workout space for firefighters.
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