The Dexter Township Board of Trustees took a step closer to establishing a permanent fire station in the township at its meeting on Tuesday.
The board voted 6-1 with Trustee Steve Feinman absent, to purchase 5.02 acres of land at 11485 N. Territorial Road from PJK Dexter, LLC at a cost of $262,000. In addition, the board authorized Supervisor Pat Kelly to contract for an environmental study of the property at a cost not to exceed $5,000.
"This is a huge step in the right direction in terms of protecting our residents," Kelly said.
The purchase of the 5-acre property follows the recommendation of the township's Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC), who suggested the construction of a new fire substation, which will be manned 24 hours by the Dexter Area Fire Department (DAFD).
The committee spent about 18 months researching recommendations for improved levels of fire protection and emergency services for all township residents.
In July, the board to place a proposal on the November general election ballot asking residents to fund a fire station through a public safety millage. The township is asking voters to approve 1 mill up to seven years. For a house with a taxable value of $100,000, the owner would pay $100 for each year of the millage.
According to information provided by the township, the station is expected to cost between $1.2 and $1.6 million.
"The substation is a great idea,” Loren Yates, DAFD chief, told the Chelsea Update.
Yates said the location will assist the department for quicker response times and provide more room for the department’s trucks and other equipment. Planned for the substation is a pre-engineered, metal building with a split-faced cinder block exterior for the office portion of the structure and a maximum of 2.5 double bays for fire apparatus, according to officials.
In 2010, the township funded a temporary substation on North Territorial Road for the DAFD at a cost of $47,000 after the PSAC recommended establishing a substation at the Multi-Lakes Sewer Authority. The substation was installed following a decision to have the DAFD cover the majority of the township. In years prior, DAFD, as well as the Putnam Fire Department and Chelsea Area Fire Authority provided service to residents.
According to Dominic Treglia, chairman of the PSAC, moving the permanent station to North Territorial Road would benefit more residents as it would be located near the geographic center of the township.
"While the Multi-Lakes facility is a good location, the corner of North Territorial and Dexter Townhall road would be better because it provides convenient north-south and east-west access through the township," Treglia said.