BARODA — There may be a new fire station in Baroda’s future.
Baroda Township Board members and Baroda Fire Chief Larry Klug at Monday’s board meeting said a new building is needed, and they are starting the process of seeing how much a new station would cost and where it would be located.
“The location is part of the design phase,” said Trustee David Wolf, a member of the Baroda Fire Board. No location has yet been chosen, he said.
Klug said the proposed building would “probably be $1 million over 30 years” of a payback period. But Wolf after the meeting said that cost figure is “premature” and an estimate.
Funding for the new building would be covered by a property tax levy, Wolf said. That would require a vote of township residents.
The funds for the design phase would come out of the budget for fiscal 2018-19, Wolf said, and that year starts April 1. “To keep to the timeline, we would need to make a commitment by January for the engineering and architectural work,” he said during the meeting.
Township officials for some time have been saying the current station is too small and is outdated. It’s located on First Street just north of the Baroda Municipal Building.
Klug on Monday presented certificates for Fire Officer 3 ratings to department members Donnie Johnson and Andrew Adkin. He said the course work took them each 226 hours, and that the department now has seven firefighters with that achievement level.
“We have one of the best volunteer fire departments in Berrien County,” Supervisor Jim Brow said.
Also Monday, the board agreed to an amendment to the ordinance governing special land use permits and variances.
Clerk Wendie Shafer said the amendment reduces the amount of criteria the planners use to determine whether they will agree with a proposal. The township’s Planning Commission on Dec. 11 voted to recommend adopting the change.
The board also voted to reappoint Planning Commissioners Tom Shafer and Ed Heyn to three-year terms.
According to the Planning Commission’s Dec. 11 minutes, a “Dollar General-type store” is interested in building in Baroda Township. The company wanted a change in the amount of required parking spaces, but the planners felt the company instead should apply for an ordinance variation.
Township offices will be closed Dec. 25 and 26, Troxell said.
Troxell said that on Friday, Dec. 29, normally the offices would open at 9 a.m. and close at noon. However, the office will remain open until 5 p.m. that day so those who want to pay their winter property taxes in the current calendar year can do so, she said.
The deadline for the taxes is in February, she added.