Township moving closer to new station

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Niles Township will soon begin construction of a new fire station, which will replace its current south station on Bell Road.
The township's fire department has simply outgrown its current facility, said Niles Township Clerk Marge Durm-Hiatt.
The new fire station will be located on township property just south of Bell Road on Third Street
After almost a year of planning, the township is moving closer to actual construction of the new facility.
Contractors could begin bidding on the project as early as sometime this week.
She said the building should take from 10 to 12 months to complete.
The new fire station will be considerably larger at 10,000 square feet and will contain three drive-through bays, multiple offices, training facilities, and ample storage space.
"We need all of our equipment in one place," said Durm-Hiatt. "That will be the biggest improvement."
When the township decided it was going to build a new fire station, they received 22 proposals from architects in the area who were interested in designing the project. Township officials narrowed that number down to seven and eventually chose the South Bend, Ind., firm of Hebard and Hebard.
"It was quite an interesting process," said Durm-Hiatt.
"The firefighters and a couple members from the board would meet with the architects and just throw out all of the possibilities. It was a give-and-take process with what the firemen wanted and what we could afford," she said.
With an estimated price of $1.3 million, Durm-Hiatt said the township has three payment options they are looking at.
"We could bond it, take out loans, or just pay for it," she said.
"I don't want to say that the new fire station will improve our service because we already have an excellent fire department," said Durm-Hiatt. "But, it will make it much easier to serve the needs of our township."

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