Thursday, August 03, 2000

Monroe fire unit looks forward to new quarters

By David Eck
Enquirer Contributor

        MONROE — Leaking roofs and crumbling walls are about to become a thing of the past for local firefighters. Construction of a new fire station on Main Street is to begin this fall.

        The estimated $1.2 million project, to begin in October, will include demolishing the existing fire station and building an 8,100-square-foot facility on essentially the same site, City Manager Donald Whitman said. The work should take about 12 months, and is being financed through a 2-mill, five-year fire levy approved in March.

        The station on Main Street is about a block from Ohio 63 in the center of Monroe. It is in such disrepair that city and building officials determined it would be more cost effective to rebuild than to remodel it.

        “When that station was built back in 1953, it was built mainly to house vehicles,” Monroe Fire Chief Mark Neu said. “It does not meet some of the standards to house full-time firefighters.”

        While the new station is under construction, the fire department will be located in rented commercial space near Lebanon Street and Ohio 63. The Monroe Police Department was housed in that building until being moved to the new city building last year.

        Though it is not an ideal loca tion, Chief Neu said, the building will accommodate the department's large ladder truck and other vehicles. But response time to some parts of Monroe will be lengthened while fire crews are in the rented space.

        The new station will have two double bays and one single bay for fire vehicles, living quarters, a kitchen and a fitness room. The city's planning commission has approved a site plan for the project.

        The facility will be built of light-colored brick with beige trim, similar to what was used in Monroe's city building on Main Street and fire headquarters on Ohio 4.

        “It'll be very obvious that it's a Monroe municipal facility,” Mr. Whitman said.


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