Administrators set to replace Liberty Road fire station

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Liberty Township administrators took the first step towards a possible new fire station at the July 7 council meeting.

Administrators voted 2-1 to spend up to $ 300,000 for an architect to prepare design drawings for a new station which, if approved, would replace the original station – Station 321 – at 7761 Liberty Road .

Station 322, built in 2004, is located at 10150 Sawmill Parkway.

Administrator Bryan Newell and Fire Chief Tom O’Brien presented a preliminary report which they said supported new construction rather than renovation of Station 321. O’Brien told administrators that a “huge list of things ”should be done just to make the current station functional. .

The facility, which was built in 1990, according to the township website, was built “for a volunteer fire department,” Newell said, adding that some issues with the building were affecting response times to calls.

Newell said he expected the architectural design to cost $ 250,000 to $ 300,000.

The Liberty Township Fire Department covers approximately 30 square miles and serves residents of Liberty Township and the Town of Powell, according to its website.

Administrator Mike Gemperline opposed the resolution, saying he wanted to “have time to digest” the report before voting to spend the money. He also expressed concern about the potential price of the three major construction projects that the township is pursuing.

Earlier this year, administrators voted to continue architectural designs for a new township hotel and a new maintenance facility. The three decisions follow a report commissioned by the administrators in 2020 on the state of the township’s facilities.

At a June 28 meeting, trustees voted 3-0 to sign letters of intent to fund these projects, should trustees choose to bid them, through a new bond program. municipal sponsored by Delaware County Treasurer Don Rankey and the Delaware County Finance Authority.

Although none of the projects were approved for construction, administrators wanted to ensure that funds would be available under this program.

Ranky said the program is funded from unrestricted funds in the county treasury. He initially freed up $ 25 million to be used to purchase bonds from local government entities at guaranteed low interest rates for the first 10 years, after which the bonds would move into the open market.

Ranky said the program would save local county governments “hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest and upfront fees” while generating income from “dormant” county funds.

Liberty Township was the first to sign a letter of intent to participate in the program, asking for up to $ 2.3 million for town hall, up to $ 1.745 million for maintenance facilities and up to $ 6, $ 25 million for the fire station.

Newell said using the county’s new bond program means administrators wouldn’t have to ask voters for a tax increase in order to pay for the projects. He said he hopes the designs for the town hall and the maintenance facility will be completed and ready for directors’ discussion and possible vote in “the next month or so.”

“We gave our word to our residents that we would not put a new tax question on the ballot,” Administrator Shyra Eichhorn told ThisWeek. “Our financial projections show that we would be able to pay off these loans using the township’s existing income.”

Ranky said the program could be used to fund new capital improvement projects by local county governments. He said his office and the Delaware County Finance Authority had been in contact with other political subdivisions about participation in the program.

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