BARODA — The Baroda Township Board by April will have what it needs to know to make a decision about a proposed new fire station.
Fire Department Capt. Doug deBest on Monday told board members he’s been meeting with employees of Wightman & Associates to look at all the equipment in the current station and to measure all the fire trucks. “They don’t want to be responsible for designing a new building for us and us not able to get all our stuff into it,” he said.
The board last month hired Wightman & Associates to prepare cost estimates for the proposed new station and to locate a potential site. DeBest said they’ve been looking at two potential sites.
The board needs the information soon because the new station would be paid for by a property tax levy. The board will have to make decisions this spring if it wants to put the proposal before voters in August.
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 a very preliminary estimate.
Also Monday, the board approved a change to the township’s Automatic Mutual Aid Agreement for firefighting along with Lincoln and Lake townships, and Bridgman.
DeBest told the board that Lincoln Township wants Baroda’s help “only in response to fires in non-hydrant areas.” That will include areas south of Rockey Weed Road, about a mile along Washington Avenue, and parts of Lincoln Avenue, he added.
Baroda’s Fire Department assisted Lincoln Township on 14 calls in 2017, and the new agreement would likely reduce that to one or two assists, deBest said. “Actually, it’s a good thing for us,” he said.
Also Monday, the board agreed to pay Printing Systems around $1,000 for postcards to go to some 2,200 voters about a voting location change.
Clerk Wendie Shafer said the polling place is being switched from the old Township Hall to the new Municipal Building next door. The law requires that all voters be notified, she added.
In other matters, the board decided to wait for more bids on getting the Municipal Building’s roof replaced.
The board only received one bid so far, from R.L. Roofing Inc. of New Buffalo for $63,800.
“Seems high,” Trustee David Wolf said.
“We got more bids coming,” Treasurer Brenda Troxell said. “We started calling people when we got this.”
The board also took a look at its proposed budget for fiscal 2018-19. The new fiscal year starts April 1, so the board will vote on the proposed budget in March.
The proposed budget calls for general fund revenues of $320,580 in 2018-19, as compared to $311,939 in the current year. Expenses are pegged at $318,373, as compared to $311,918 this year.
The board approved Medic 1’s proposed new budget.
The ambulance service currently costs the township $26,021, and it will cost $28,290 next fiscal year. Board members said that’s the first price hike in around 14 years.
At the recommendation of the township Planning Commission, the board approved a private road for Rose Concrete Co. on commercial property at 2000 W. Shawnee Road. Officials said Mike Rose of Rose Concrete hope to split off some of the lot and needs the private road for that purpose.
The board will hold a special meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 6, to talk to insurance representatives.