LIBERTY - Township trustees on March 16 passed a resolution to advertise for bids to have plans drawn up for a new central fire station.
Fire Chief Michael Durkin has wanted a fire station in a central location for the last several years for both safety and cost-cutting reasons.
The department presently has two fire stations, one on Loganway, which was built in the 1960s, and one on Belmont Avenue, which was built in the 1970s.
Liberty firefighter Zach Cogley looks over one of the township’s fire engines at the Belmont Avenue fire station. Trustees are considering a resolution that would allow them to advertise for bids to have plans drawn up for a new central fire station.
Durkin said the station on Belmont was put there for growth in that area of the township, but that growth never happened.
Both stations are staffed by two firefighters, so having four at one central location will make things easier - and safer - because they can all respond to a fire together instead of arriving piecemeal.
''It's better than two guys going from one place and two guys going from another,'' Durkin said.
Durkin also said a newer building will save on energy costs and other expenses.
''We duplicate everything,'' Durkin said. ''There's two of everything, and that we don't need.''
Another concern is that fire engines being built today often cannot fit in the older buildings, Durkin said.
Durkin said a perfect, central location is property in front of the township Administration Building on state Route 304 or beside it that the township purchased a few years ago. Besides responding to calls in the township, a station must also have a good location to respond to mutual aid calls, and he said the department has several mutual aid contracts to which they must respond.
There are maintenance issues with both buildings as well because they are older, Durkin said. The Belmont Avenue station was ravaged by flooding in 2003 and Federal Emergency Management Agency money had to be used for repairs, while there are cracks in the bricks in the Loganway station, which makes it harder to heat.
Township Administrator Patrick Ungaro said both stations ''cost a fortune'' in repairs.