Baroda Twp. seeks site for new fire station

Baroda Township firefighters say station is downtown Baroda is outmoded and too small. The township is seeking sites for a new station.

BARODA — Baroda’s firefighters still aren’t certain where they’d like a new station to be.

“The biggest problem they seem to have now is, where do we want to put it?” township Supervisor Jim Brow said after Monday’s Baroda Township Board meeting.

“Do we tear this one down and leave it here, or maybe move it out to Hills Road where we have property?” Brow said. “Or Hess Lake, we own 17 acres out there. I think the Fire Department guys want to keep it here, but we’ll see how that goes.”

Brow said much more information will be available in April, after the new fiscal year begins. The board needs to have specifics this spring if it is to schedule an election in August, when voters would be asked to approve a property tax levy to pay for the new station.

Fire Chief Larry Klug at the December board meeting said the cost of the new station could be around $1 million, though other officials said that’s just an estimate.

Officials say the current station, on First Street just north of the Baroda Municipal Building, is too small and is outmoded. The board has hired Wightman & Associates to prepare cost estimates for a proposed new fire station, and to locate a potential site.

The board on Monday reappointed Klug as fire chief. He said he’s been chief since 1984.

Also Monday, the board approved an annual general appropriations act covering millage rates – to be unchanged in fiscal 2018-19 – and setting salaries for township officials and employees. The new fiscal year starts April 1.

The supervisor’s salary is rising from $24,000 to $28,000 a year, and Clerk Wendie Shafer’s salary is going up from $25,500 to $29,000. However, those rates are going up because both are going to pay for their own health insurance.

The board approved the salary hikes at a special meeting on March 6.

The board approved raising board trustees’ annual salary from $3,200 to $3,600. The treasurer’s pay remains at $16,000.

Brow reported that the township’s Board of Review has approved property tax exemptions for four disabled veterans, and one poverty exemption. While the board went over the poverty exemption “with a fine-tooth comb,” the veterans were an easy decision, he said.

“Who would be against a disabled veteran, who’s fought for his country and been injured, some of them very seriously, getting a deduction on his property taxes?” Brow said after the meeting.