Board sets Aug. 7 vote bond for new fire station

The Baroda Village Hall is pictured March 20, 2018.

BARODA — The Baroda Township Board on Monday gave the green light to asking voters on Aug. 7 to approve a $2.8 million bond to pay for a new fire station.

The board at the special meeting also approved asking voters on Aug. 7 to renew a 0.9794 millage levy for the fire equipment fund, and a 1.9589 millage levy for police.

The $2.8 million bond for the new fire station would be paid off over 30 years. In its first year, 2020, it would have a millage rate of 1.5645, and would cost $156 to the owner of a property with a taxable value of $100,000.

The Township Board on Monday met in the current fire station, which they and fire department officials say is too small for the department’s equipment, and is outdated. Fire Chief Larry Klug says one of the department’s three trucks has three inches of clearance on each side through the bay door.

The new station would be built on a 3-acre lot on Cleveland Avenue north of Church Street, and would have 12,000 square feet of space.

The fact that three millage requests will be on the Aug. 7 ballot was a little disquieting for the two firefighters at the meeting, who said they hadn’t known the two renewal requests would also be on the ballot.

“You ask for three things, something’s not going to be passed,” Klug told the board.

Captain Doug deBest said voters may be tempted to “say yes to the two renewals, and the fire station goes down.”

They and the board talked about the possibility of switching the renewals or the fire station request to the regular election in November. However, the board members decided against it.

“I can see your point,” Treasurer Brenda Troxell told the firefighters, but added anything less than a forthright approach might backfire. “I think it would be perceived as deceitful,” she said.

“It’s never going to get any cheaper,” said Trustee David Wolf, a member of the township’s Fire Board. “There’s never a good time to ask” for a millage levy.

Township and fire department officials will just have to convince voters the new station is necessary, Wolf said.

“It doesn’t matter when you do it,” Wolf said. “We’re gonna have to sell it. All our stuff won’t fit in here.”