BARODA — Baroda Township’s current fire station isn’t safe for firefighters, Fire Department Lt. Doug deBest told the Baroda Village Council on Monday.
DeBest, making an election eve plea for township and village voters to approve a millage request to fund a new station, said firefighters need to back trucks into the station’s bays, endangering firefighters and the truck, deBest said, as he’s seen drivers “going between us when we’re backing up.”
The new station would have drive-through bays.
Also, the current station has no washing machines to clean gear, and no showers for firefighters to clean up after going out on calls, deBest said. Showers are needed so firefighters “don’t take chemicals home” with them, he said.
Firefighters have to trek to other fire departments to refill their air bottles, which takes a lot of time, deBest said. And the department’s new 2016 fire truck has only six inches of top clearance to get into the station, he added.
Township and village voters go to the polls today to vote on the township’s request for a $2.8 million bond, to be paid off over 30 years, to fund a new station. In its first year, 2020, it would have a millage rate of 1.5771, and would cost $158 to the owner of a property with a taxable value of $100,000.
The township is also asking for renewal of a 0.9794 millage levy for the fire equipment fund, and a 1.9589 millage levy for police. Village residents are also township residents, and vote on township issues.
The current station was built about 60 years ago and is obsolete, fire department and township officials say.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. today.
Also Monday, the council approved spending between $1,200 and $1,300 for bacterial agents to clear sludge at the village’s sewage treatment lagoons.
Tony Cochran of the public works department said the treatment, which should be applied every six months, is “better than spending a half-million dollars for cleaning.” He said he will monitor the first application to make sure it works.
Council President Bob Getz said the village may need a separate audit for its SAW (Stormwater, Asset management and Wastewater) grant. If so, it will cost $14,200 for both the village’s SAW audit and its regular audit, Getz said.
The council approved Clerk Tina Boehm’s request to take an economic development class in Lansing this year. Boehm said the class, offered by the Michigan Economic Development Association, will take the place of the annual municipal clerks’ conference.
Boehm also reported the recent Party on the Pavers event went “extremely well. ... Everything exceeded expectations.” Between 1,200 and 1,500 people attended, she said.