Meridian Township Opens Up Makeshift Fire Station - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Meridian Township Opens Up Makeshift Fire Station

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OKEMOS, MICH. (WLNS) - Meridian Township fire fighters finally have a place they call their own....at least for now. Today a makeshift station opened up to temporarily replace the central fire station that closed this past February due to unsanitary living conditions.

A brand new fire station is set to be built in July on the corner of Okemos Road and Central Park Drive.

“It is better than having water and mold issues and such,” said Bill Priese, Training/EMS Chief for the Meridian Township Fire Department. “It’s better than never knowing when the next ceiling tile is going to fall in on you.”

So now the "makeshift" central fire station is set up at the at the meridian service center which just off Okemos Road.

“It’s obviously not the most advantageous and if we had our choice we wouldn't be doing it this way,” said Priese.

And if they had their way, the new fire station would have already been built. But a restraining order issued by the Autumn Park condo residents put things to screeching halt and delayed the work. The lawsuit cost the township a total of 120 thousand dollars. That was taken out of the bond for the fire station. Some of it went towards buying a new traffic light for Okemos road, the rest of the fees had to do with the engineering of the design: changing the location of the fire station to face Okemos Road instead of Central Park Drive and paying off legal fees.

“There is some frustration with it but i respect the right of everyone to have their say and try and protect their own neighborhood,” said Frank Walsh, Township Manager of Meridian Township.

But now that things can move forward--firefighters are moving in and making due.

Although it is only a makeshift station it does have its benefits. Now men and women have their own bathrooms and showers, which they didn't have before at the central fire station.

“We had one standup shower and that was it for everybody at that station,” said Priese. 

Despite the setbacks the new station has faced...firefighters won't let that stop them. “We will move forward and do whatever it takes to get to our goal,” said Fred Cowper, Fire Chief from the Meridian Township Fire Department.

The fire station is set to be finished May 11th, 2015.
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