By REBEKAH WHIRLEDGE
The Turkey Creek Township Advisory Board met for their regular monthly meeting Monday evening at Fire Station 2. The most discussed item on the agenda involved the proposed renovations to Syracuse’s Fire Station 1, 402 N. Huntington St. (SR 13).
Proposed plans by DJ Construction call for adding a second story to the north side of the station for a total estimated cost of $463,000, which includes 10 percent additional funds to be utilized for unforeseen problems that could arise during construction. The addition would provide approximately 4,000 square feet of additional space for sleeping quarters, meeting rooms and storage — all of which are currently lacking in the station, which dates back to 1962.
A plan must be approved by both the township advisors and the town council, which meets tonight, before a bidding process can begin.
“Historically the town (council) has been restrictive with fire department funds. I would not be surprised if changes were made (by the town to the proposed fire station renovation plans),” said Bill Dixon, Turkey Creek township advisory board president. “The town likes to be more involved in the decision making process. I think it would be better to see what the town wants to do. Then we can both agree to a particular plan instead of competing plans … I think it’s understood that we support going forward with the project, but I’m not sure what the town’s position is going to be.”
Sitting at her first meeting as the newest advisory board member, Kimberly Cates asked fire chief Mickey Scott if he thought these particular plans were the most practical of all the options considered.
“Personally, of all the options, this will fit our needs best,” Scott answered.
“I’m going on faith that this has been well researched,” said Cates. “It’s my opinion that we desperately need to do something. We need to do something to make [the renovations] go forward.”
Dixon proposed supporting a plan that calls for renovations to Fire Station 1, up to and including the plan that has been drawn, that calls for adequate living space, storage and an eye to the future 20 years hence. This proposal was unanimously accepted.
In other new business, the township advisors received a petition from the career employees of the Turkey Creek Fire Territory requesting the board make Syracuse Professional Fire Fighters Local 4795 the exclusive recognized representatives of all full-time non-upper level policy making employees.
“Before we do anything (with the letter), the smart thing for us to do is consult with someone who is an expert in labor law,” said Dixon. “Our lawyer has recommended John Tyson, a labor law expert.” The advisors voted to seek council with Tyson on what they should and should not do with the letter.
The Turkey Creek Township Advisors meet at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of the month at Syracuse Fire Station Two. The next meeting with be held June 11.
For the complete report from the Turkey Creek Township Board, see this week’s issue of The Mail-Journal.