Monday, November 12, 2001

Blue Ash to add $4.8M fire station




By Walt Schaefer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        BLUE ASH — Rapid residential and industrial growth in the northern half of the community has prompted city council to authorize a $4.8 million fire station at Creek and Kenwood roads.

        The 30,000-square-foot facility will be built on the same site as an existing 20,000-square-foot fire substation and the city's service department building.

        “We anticipate beginning construction in April and it will take 14 months to build,” said City Manager Marvin Thompson.

        “We plan to move in in about June 2003. We then will have two fully functioning and staffed fire stations — the one at the municipal complex (on Cooper Road) and the north station.”

        The location of the new station, along with the recent widening and repair of Kenwood Road, provides easy access and prompt response time to sections of Interstate 275 and Interstate 71, which run through Blue Ash, Fire Chief Jim Fehr said.

        Bruce Henry, assistant city manager and safety director, said the new fire facilities will allow the city to conduct some fire training on-site rather than send firefighters out of the city for training.

        Each station will house life squads, fire pumpers and aerial trucks. The city also is expected to purchase a new $450,000 pumper and $130,000 life squad.

        “Subject to council approval, we expect to have modest increases in fire personnel annually — 2002, 2003 and in 2004,” Mr. Thompson said. The city employs 25 full-time firefighters plus a part-time contingent that averages about 10.

        “The makeup of Blue Ash has evolved since 1974 when the (original part of the) north substation was built. There have been additions to it, but back then most of the development was in the south part of the city. In recent years, the great majority of the development is in the north — residential and business,” Mr. Thompson said.

        Neither station will be designated as a fire headquarters. The chief and other members of fire brass will spend time at both.

        The new station means the city must relocate its service department.

        The city bought a former warehouse and grounds on Interstate Circle off Grooms Road for $2 million and intends to put in about $2.8 million in improvements, Mr. Thompson said.

       



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