Dexter Township Officials Discuss Fire Substation Delay, Recognize 125th Anniversary of Dexter Fire Department

Recognizing the 125th anniversary of the Dexter Area Fire Department won a unanimous 7-0 motion of approval from the Dexter Township Board of Trustees at the August 18th meeting.

Board Supervisor Harley Rider said that the Dexter City Council, Webster Township Board of Trustees, and the Dexter Area Fire Department Administrative Board will all be passing the same proclamation this month.

The Dexter Fire Department was established on July 11, 1890 and consisted of seven members including a fire chief, a captain, engineers and hose men. The original engine house was located on Alpine Street in the Village of Dexter.

Jump ahead to 1985, and that’s when the Dexter Area Fire Department was formed to provide regional fire services to the Townships of Dexter, Lima, Scio and Webster as well as the Village of Dexter. Although Lima Township and Scio Township went on to provide their own fire services, the Dexter Area Fire Department continues to serve Dexter Township, Webster Township and the City of Dexter.

As far as the Fire Sub-Station being built in Dexter Township goes, Rider told the board that he is concerned that the building won’t be completed on schedule.

“It looks like there is more than 10 weeks of work to do in the next 10 weeks,” he said.

The news was good from Tom Arehart, Township representative for the Fire Sub-Station, who addressed the board.

“Things are going well,” he said. “This evening at 6 p.m. we reached a milestone by supplying temporary power to the building.”

The project started in 2010 when township officials expressed concern over the fire response time for northern parts of the township. A public safety advisory committee was formed, which in August of 2012 produced the report on the need for a Fire Sub-Station.

“As a result of that study by the committee, we entered into an agreement to house an engine and a utility vehicle,” said Rider. “It started as an experiment to see if it would provide good benefit to our northern township residents, and after the Sub-Station was up and running for a year, it was determined that the response time was shortened and it was beneficial to have a station there.”

That led to the millage request on Dexter Township’s November 2012 ballot, which won approval from residents and asked for up to 1 mil for up to 7 years, from 2012-2018, for the purpose of funding a permanent Fire Sub-Station.

A few locations were proposed, and the township purchased the property at 12154 North Territorial Road, just east of Madden Road, to be the site of the Sub-Station.

“We plan to continue to staff the Sub-Station with one firefighter 24-7 and continue to house one engine or tanker and one utility vehicle and other apparatus,” said Rider. “It will ultimately be able to house four.”

The Dexter city station on Main Street in Dexter covers the southeast part of Dexter Township and some of the northeast and southwest of the township. The Chelsea Fire Authority helps cover the western part of the township, and the Sub-Station covers the northern and western parts of the township.

Rider says that even though he is dubious about the Sub-Station being completed by the end of October, he believes it will be finished by the end of the Fall season.

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