By James Hanlon
Leader Staff Writer
Addison Township Fire Department Chief Jerry Morawski wants to remodel Fire Station 2, part of the Township Complex at 1440 Rochester Rd. The Township Board authorized Morawski to get a quote from an architect for a feasibility study, and bring the study’s cost back to the board.
“We’re not asking to approve the project,” Township Supervisor Bruce Pearson said “we’re just asking to start looking into it to see what we need.”
When Station 2 was built in 1987, the department was primarily paid-on-call. Over the years, the department transitioned to staffing some personnel 24 hours a day at Station 1 in Leonard. In order to improve coverage and response time, Morawski wants to staff Station 2 for 24 hours a day as well.
“When (Station 2) was built the layout of the offices and amenities were not done with consideration to personnel staying at the station overnight,” Morawski explained in a memo to the board. “As a result, we will need to improve the kitchen, bathroom, dayroom, as well as making suitable sleeping quarters for the personnel.” The doors and the electrical system also need replacing.
The building size is already perfect, he said, there’s no need for expansion. The pole-barn-style building can house four fire trucks.
The location is already perfect, too. A 2013 internal study showed that if the department was to build a brand new station, it would need to be built within a quarter mile of Station 2, anyway, in order to meet the Township’s response needs. “This is a determining factor in the cost effectiveness of remodeling our Station 2,” Morawski said. He also thinks it’s worth improving the building exterior so that it matches the aesthetics of the Township Complex.
This is a good time for the project since there are no other major Capital Budget purchase needs projected for another 12 years. “We are projecting $200,000 for this project from our Capital Budget,” he said, “however it is difficult to estimate exact material and labor costs in our current market.” The feasibility study will garner a more accurate project cost.
Supervisor Pearson said he recently learned American Rescue Plan funds could possibly be used for repurposing fire stations. “So that might be something we can look into part of the project,” he said.
By James Hanlon