Dexter Township residents will be asked to vote Nov. 6 on funding a new permanent substation for the Dexter Area Fire Department (DAFD).
The ballot proposal reads: "Shall Dexter Township impose an increase of up to 1.00 mills ($1 per $1,000 of taxable value) in the tax limitation imposed under Article IX, Section 6 of the Michigan Constitution and levy it for seven years, 2012 through 2018 inclusive for the purpose of providing funds for the establishment and construction of a permanent fire substation in the township which 1.00 mill increase will raise an estimated $287,000.00 the first year the millage is levied.”
If approved, the station will be constructed at the corner of Dexter Townhall and North Territorial roads.
The station will be manned round-the-clock by the DAFD.
Since December 2010, the township has been funding a temporary substation at the Multi Lakes Water and Sewer Authority at 12088 N. Territorial Road in Dexter Township.
Township Clerk Harley Rider said establishing a permanent substation would put 98 percent of the township within 5 miles of a station. Prior to the creation of the temporary facility, the township received its fire and emergency rescue services from the DAFD, Chelsea Area Fire Authority, and Putnam Township Fire Department. Due to the township's dense rural areas, however, Rider said response times were a lot longer.
"Anything we can do to help provide better coverage to our residents, especially those living around the lakes area is a tremendous benefit to public safety," he said.
Township Supervisor Pat Kelly told Heritage Newspapers it's difficult for firefighters to operate out of the temporary facility because it shares space with the sewer authority, the sleeping quarters are in a detached trailer and there is no training room or office.
If the millage is approved, the new station would feature two double length bays, another half bay, sleeping quarters, office and a meeting/training room.
Total construction costs are estimated to be between $1.2 and $1.6 million.
"We're not going to build the Taj Mahal," Kelly told Patch in a previous interview. "We'll build what we need, and nothing more."
A copy of the township's ballot resolution and Public Safety Advisory Committee report on the fire station is available to download on the township's website.