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Dexter Township to Purchase Land for Permanent Fire Station

Dexter Township will purchase 5.02 acres of land on North Territorial Road from PJK Dexter, LLC.

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.

Phyllis Risdon August 22, 2012 at 12:56 PM
It's a good location AND it will clean up the blight on that corner as well!
Eric Walton August 22, 2012 at 09:33 PM
Yes. As long as they're not pumping thousands of gallons of water out of the local aquifer a day via a well on the property to fill tankers and there's some reasonable siren use for consideration of the residents local to it.
Kevin McNulty August 23, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Thank you for your comments. I am a member of the Public Safety Advisory Committee and we agree, Phylis, it is a good location, both in location and size. The five acres is just about the right size for a sub-station of this capacity. We took a look at other area stations including one in Putnam Township and one in Grass Lake and they both are on lots of this size. Included in the planning was to hold voting at this location, requiring some parking. Eric, we are researching a way to fill the tanker trucks with a well on the site. Be assured the trucks will not be pumping water in the thousands of gallons daily. Maybe in the hundreds, but not on a daily basis and hopefully little need to do so. The use of sirens is pretty much set in standards based on the response necessary. I live not far from this site and I will endure sirens in exchange for knowing the response is quick, because someday that response could be for me.
James L. Jedele August 23, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Wait a minute. The voters haven't even approved the millage yet! And how does the township have the funds available to purchase land? Account for these funds, please. This is valuable commercial land (the corner of Territorial and Townhall) that could be paying taxes. Except that over the years (45 since I've been here) the township officials have done everything to discourage a business at this location. Now the township wants to take it over? The fire station, if it's really needed (no data from township to support it), could just as well stay at it's present temporary location about 3/4 mile to the west on the multi lakes sewer authority property. Plenty of land already off the taxes and I would think lots of water out back to recycle.

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