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Lafayette trustees: $4.7M being well spent on fire station

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LAFAYETTE TWP. — Construction on the new township safety services/fire station is almost done, with trustees eying a June completion date.

Trustee Marty Warchola said Friday during a walkthrough that while delays have put construction about 45 days behind schedule, progress is being made daily on the building at 6367 Technology Lane.

“We are working hard to make up time,” he said. Weather and material delays slowed progress, trustees said.

Trustee Lynda Bowers said once construction is in its final stretch township residents will learn details about an open house at the facility.

Bowers said trustees have worked to make sure the 22,500- square-foot, $4.7-million facility is going to be everything residents could need.

“We have worked very hard, almost full time, all of us to get the last groan out of every buffalo on every nickel in that building,” Bowers said.

Bowers said while she has been handling the financial aspects of the building, fellow trustees Warchola and Mike Costello have had a more boots-on-the-ground role.

In addition to attending monthly meetings with the construction team to receive updates on the project, the township has also hired its own project manager, Bill McDonald, who is separate from the construction company, Knoch Corp. of North Canton.

Bowers said the township has saved an estimated $50,000 due to McDonald’s daily presence at the construction site.

“He is separate from the contractor,” Bowers said. “He lets nothing side.”

Bowers said longtime township resident Curtis Perkins, the owner of C. Martin Trucking in Medina, has mentioned the need for a new fire/safety services building for the past 20 years.

Perkins said Friday that the current 5,699-square-foot facility at 6776 Wedgewood Road has its obvious limitations, and has for quite some time.

“You open the doors of the trucks and they hit one another, you have to scout around,” Perkins said. “I have trucks in my shop, and we are cramped, but not as cramped as what I see here (at the current building).

Warchola said the new facility will include six overnight bunks, something the old building does not have. The bunk room will allow the township to hire additional firefighters and EMS personnel because employees will have a place to stay if needed.

Warchola said the bunks are one of the ways the township has worked to save money at the new building.

“We had bids on furnishing that ranged anywhere from a high of about $70,000, which was extremely high, to a low of around $30,000,” he said. “All the furnishings we brought in came at just under $5,000.”

Warchola said Sealy Mattress in the township is donating all the bedding for the new bunk room.

Gently used matching office furniture was also purchased from a county business that made a furniture purchase and closed down shortly after.

“All of us have literally worked full-time jobs on this building doing different things and we are proud of what we have been able to do,” Bowers said. “It would have been a lot easier just to spend the extra $200,000 that we think we are saving by doing the legwork we are doing.”

Bowers said the township also received a “very good” bond rate through Huntington Bank and has intentions of paying it off in three to five years.

“We have no desire to drag it out for the 15 years of the levy,” she said.

The new station is being funded with revenue from a 2.5-mill levy voters approved in November 2016 that will generate about $4 million over 15 years.

Contact reporter Nathan Havenner at nhavenner@medina-gazette.com.
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