The Latest Updates on Dexter’s New Fire Station and Other Facilities

The Dexter City Council continues to forge ahead on updating City facilities for the Fire Dept., City Offices, the Sheriff’s substation and Department of Public Works.

Work sessions are ongoing and open to the public.  The work session meet at 5:30 before the regularly scheduled City Council Meetings on the first and third Mondays of the month in the Dexter Senior Center.

Here are the latest updates:

Department of Public Works (DPW)

The need is additional storage for equipment currently stored outside on the DPW property at 3600 Central St. (next to the railroad tracks), a leaf vacuum stored at the Dexter Township Fire Station out on North Territorial Rd., and a lift stored in the basement of the current Fire Station at 8140 Main St.

Long term options being weighed are building an addition to the current DPW property or construction of a storage unit on City property at 7651 Dan Hoey Rd. Future equipment needs are being assessed to determine the space needed and then which option works best.

City Offices

Currently located above PNC Bank at 8123 Main St., the Dexter City offices outgrew their space years ago and need private offices for administration, a work room for plan review, a conference room, and a kitchenette/lunch room.

Options include relocating to another existing building such as Dexter Crossings or the Cottage Inn Plaza and continue to pay rent along with the cost of build out. Another option is to purchase an available site such as the Monument Park Building or 3045 Broad St. A third option is to purchase a vacant City lot and build offices. A fourth option is to renovate the current Fire Station into City offices with additional public parking and public restrooms.

Current City offices are 2,200 square-feet and projected needs for new space is estimated to be 7,000 square-feet. Ten options are being compared in matrix form to assess cost vs. function vs. longevity and other considerations.

Public Restrooms

There is a need for public restrooms for downtown visitors. Locations are being considered as well as the possible need for multiple restroom sites.

Sheriff’s Substation

The needs facing Dexter City Council in regards to a new Washtenaw County Sheriff’s substation include facilities for male and female officers, functional space and layout, and a private interview area. Options being considered are moving the Sheriff’s substation with the Fire Department or moving it with the City offices. The design firm working with the City on these projects, Partners in Architectural, has prepared a conceptual layout for a new substation with a new Fire Station on the MAV property on Dexter – Ann Arbor Rd. across from Mill Creek Middle School.

Fire Station

The Dexter City Council is moving forward under their own directive from a recent 4-3 vote to build a new fire station somewhere other than the current location at 8140 Main St. but within Dexter City limits. Two acres are needed for the construction of a new fire hall.

Built in the 1950’s, Dexter’s Fire Department has been looking for new quarters since the 1990’s. The needs include facilities for male and female firefighters, separation between living quarters and public access areas, a bay large enough to house a ladder truck, bigger bays to allow more space around newer vehicles, and additional storage space for equipment currently stored in vehicle bays.

Options being considered are the short-term solution of renovating the current location at 8140 Main St., or construction of a new facility on the MAV property on Dexter – Ann Arbor Rd. across from Mill Creek.

The big issues the City Council is working through are moving the Fire Dept. to a location that will increase run times to the majority of their service area against the idea that a new fire station will eventually have to be built and the question of should it be done now while the property is available.

At the Dexter Forum last Saturday, Dexter City Council member Zach Michels explained that the ballpark estimated cost of a new station is $6 million. A millage would have to be passed to fund the new firehouse. The millage would increase the taxes around $150-200 a year per Dexter City property. Notably, the increased assessment would be on City of Dexter properties only, not Dexter & Webster Townships where the vast majority of the emergency calls go.

Ballot language to request a millage to support a new fire hall bond issue would be due August 14, 2018 for the November 2018 election. Michels alluded to the possibility of county, state, or federal funds to help with the project.

“If there is any money to be found to help with this project,” Zach said, “the City financial staff and managers are really good at finding any possible matching funds.”

Below is the conceptual drawing by Partners in Architecture for the MAV property. Current construction on the property is for a daycare center and still leaves approximately 2.5 acres for a new fire hall/substation.

 

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