Record Herald Writer
Courtesy of the Record Herald; Printed 11.22.12

TIPP CITY – The design for the renovation of the Tipp City Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Station, which includes new living space and a new bay just for EMS equipment, has been finalized.
Council met with representatives from Michael Schuster Associates Architects on Monday to review the plans for the Fire and EMS Station expansion and renovation project one last time before the project goes out to bid.
“The existing facilities are a combination of two structures: a building that was built in 1959, which is on the east end, and then a 1978 addition,” Nestor Melnyk, one of the architects on the project, detailed.
He said that the current station was better suited to a smaller, all-volunteer department.
“There are no sleeping quarters in there for 24/7 personnel, the kitchen is inadequate, the dayroom is inadequate, a lot of inadequacies,” he said.
The plans for the renovation have changed since council reviewed them with the architects in April. Originally, the plan was to incorporate both the original 1950s facility and the 1978 addition, but now it appears the 1978 building will need to be replaced.
The ’70s addition is currently used for office and living space, but it is too small and lacks sleeping quarters. The back of the building also appears to be sinking, causing cracks in the walls.
“You can literally see where the building is pulling away from the apparatus bay,” Melnyk said.
He added that the ground the ’70s was built on wasn’t very stable, and that is something contractors will have to watch for when adding the new additions.
The new parts of the station will include sleeping quarters, updated kitchen and bathrooms, offices, and training/conference room. A new apparatus bay will also be added on the west side of the building to house ambulances and other EMS gear.
The original 1950s apparatus bay needs only minimal upgrades, including roof repairs. The original design included an entirely new roof for the bay, but further study showed that roof only needs repairs and has another 10 to 15 years left.
“We’re keeping everything durable, low maintenance, simple, nothing extravagant,” Melnyk said.
Several parts of the project will be bid as alternates, including the roof of the new building. The architects suggested that the new building have a metal roof, which is more durable and lasts much longer than asphalt shingling. It also costs more, about $15 per square foot versus $6 for asphalt shingles. Bidding the roof separately from the rest of the project will give the city more time to weigh the pros and cons of both options and make a decision.
The projects will be put out to bid after the holidays.
But the first step in the renovation process will be enlarging one of the bay doors so that the city’s new ladder truck can fit inside the bay. This project is scheduled to begin in the next few weeks and the new truck is expected to arrive before Christmas.
Contract renewals
At the meeting, council adopted two resolutions that renewed the city’s contracts with Monroe Township for ambulance services and with Tipp Monroe Community Services. The first contract extends the city’s ambulance services to the township for two more years. As part of that contract, the township will contribute 26 percent of the cost of new ambulances and equipment during that two years. The city’s ambulances are scheduled to be replaced in 2013, for about $150,000, and in 2014, for $170,000.
The second resolution renews the city’s contract with Tipp Monroe Community Services (TMCS) for another year at a cost of $17,000. That money will be used to continue TMCS’s recreational and educational programs for area youth and adults.
“I’m not willing to lay the burden of someone else’s recreation at the feet of the taxpayer. Particularly at a time when we’re actually going to be spending more than we’re taking in,” said Councilman Bryan Budding, who voted against continuing the contract.
Council President John Kessler defended the decision to extend the contract, saying that TMCS’s programs “take care of far more of our citizens than we ever take advantage of.”