Renovations For Syracuse Fire Station Approved

Discussion about renovating station one took up the majority of the Turkey Creek Fire Territory Board’s time during its regular monthly meeting Thursday evening.

What has been discussed is a single story renovation for $242,000 plus an additional $26,000 for exterior work versus $410,000 for a second floor renovation.

Bill Dixon, chairman of the board, reported the Turkey Creek Township Advisory Board had discussed the issue and is in favor of a two-story renovation.

Board member Jeff Morgan said he was initially against a second story plan saying it did not address medical storage or women’s dorms. Chief Mickey Scott said once the first floor has been renovated there will be enough storage with the second story plan.

Morgan wanted to see what the additions in medical storage and sleeping quarters would be and know exactly what it would cost, noting there is plenty of money to write a check for plans to be drawn up.

“Write them a check, I don’t want them to do it for free,” he said. “We have asked a lot of DJ Construction with the drawings, “ Dixon said in agreement. Brad Jackson said he didn’t want to pay anything until a decision is made.

Board member Dennis Darr expressed frustration at one point stating. “You guys have been piddling around for a year on this.”

“I don’t see the reason to spend $400,000 just because you have it. Something will move up on the priority list,” Morgan answered. But Darr questioned that, saying equipment is a different line item in the budget.

Dixon noted fire calls for the last 20 years have gone up by at least 50 percent while EMS runs have increased by 100 percent and the board had to look to 20 years in the future.

Dixon noted there are two main questions to be addressed. Those are: what does the department need and how should it be addressed it, and what will the department need in 20 years? He said a single story renovation will meet the needs in 2012, but questioned if it would in 2022 or 2032.

But Morgan stood staunch saying there is no plan for community growth. Scott noted EMS calls are likely to increase with the industrial park going in at U.S. 6 and SR 13.

Jackson asked for clarification on if the money is in one or two funds. “We all agree we need to do something,” he said, adding he would like to see a lessening of dependency on tax dollars.

“We’re going after everyone who goes to collections, hard,” Dixon responded. “We’re squeezing the turnip as hard as we can.”

Jackson proposed the equipment replacement funds needs to be leveled out then go to build the second floor with exterior work for a maximum amount of $450,000.

Dixon went back to crunching numbers and suggested the equipment replacement fund be frozen at $215,000 for the next 10 years saving the taxpayers $185,000 a year, then build the second story and have $300,000 as a buffer.

Scott noted the current equipment replacement budget is already $90,000 less than 2009 and he’s been pushing replacement of trucks back every year since the territory started.

Morgan said he wants the equipment budget reduced to $170,000 due to $400,000 being budgeted for equipment for 2013. Scott warned the board a new truck is to be purchased in 2013 so there needs to be enough money in the account to do that. It was noted there is more than $1 million set aside for equipment.

The board then voted for the second floor renovation and to lock in the replacement budget at $170,000 for 10 years.

For a more in-depth account of last night’s meeting, see today’s issue of The Mail-Journal.



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