TOLEDO, OH (TOLEDO NEWS NOW) - City Council President Joe McNamara wants to save a historic fire station.
Last month, the city shut down Fire Station No. 3 citing safety concerns of the buckling floor. The Bell administration has recently proposed an ordinance that would allow the expenditure of $344,000 from the Capital Improvement Fund for predevelopment of a new fire station at a different location. The total cost of a new fire station is estimated at $3.5 million.
McNamara says that money is not meant for this type of construction project.
"Instead of spending a lot of money to build something new, we should support the neighborhood, be fiscally responsible and preserve historic architecture by fixing what has worked for 85 years," said McNamara.
McNamara held a news conference Friday to discuss the fire station, located at the corner of Bush and Erie in north Toledo. He is proposing an amendment to the legislation to expend less than $200,000 to fix the existing fire station.
According to McNamara, the building can be fixed for much less than it would cost to build a new fire house. A forensic engineer at the press conference estimated it would cost $100,000 to repair the floors.
Fire Station No. 3 went into service in 1927.
"We're risking not only another vacant property, but sending a clear message that a shiny new toy is more important than preserving Toledo's neighborhoods," McNamara said.
Sy Kreis, head of the Neighborhood Block Watch, agreed. He has seen business after business leave and feels enough is enough.
"This neighborhood is suffering we need no more losses," said Kreis.
Kreis says there is more than enough room to make additions to the current building. He is not only concerned about safety, but losing the community's relationship with firefighters.
Mayor Bell's plan is to build the new station in Jamie Farr Park. Currently, firefighters are operating out of Fire Station No. 13, which is slightly more than a mile away.
City Council will continue to evaluate both proposals during their Law and Public Safety Committee meeting Oct. 23.
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