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Local Medina County News

Westfield residents want to see designs before deciding how to vote on safety services building

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    Mark Williams, Assistant Fire Chief of Westfield Township, proposes the $3.3 million project for a redesigned fire station to township and Westfield Center residents at a Thursday meeting at the town hall.

    LUCAS FORTNEY / GAZETTE

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    Two attendees at Thursday's Westfield Township meeting look over a map detailing the future location of the Westfield safety services center.

    LUCAS FORTNEY / GAZETTE

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    Mark Williams, Assistant Fire Chief of Westfield Township, proposes the $3.3 million project for a redesigned fire station to township and Westfield Center residents.

    LUCAS FORTNEY / GAZETTE

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    Mike Schmidt, Westfield Township Trustee, fields questions Thursday in preparation for a trustee meeting on Monday, July 17, where a resolution regarding the safety services center will be prepared for November's ballot.

    LUCAS FORTNEY / GAZETTE

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WESTFIELD TWP. — Before they can support a proposed $3.3 million plan for a safety services building, residents said they want details.

Mark Williams, township assistant fire chief, presented the proposed plan for a redesigned safety services building Thursday night at the town hall.One resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said, “You’re asking us to vote on a $3.3 million project without knowing what it will look like when it’s finished?”

While Williams said fire and township officials would solicit public input before finalizing a layout, several residents requested to see conceptual designs for the building before they voted in November.

More than 30 people attended the meeting at the town hall.

The township is working with DS Architecture in Kent on the preliminary designs that were revamped after voters overwhelmingly (69.7 percent) turned down a $5 million bond issue for a new facility in the May 2 primary.

The new plan calls for reductions in office and housing space and the removal of exercise facilities.

Trustee Mike Schmidt said the safety services building likely will cost less than $3.3 million, but the amount will give township government and fire station staff “flexibility” in determining the most efficient layout for the building.

Williams added that after cutting $1.7 million from the original proposal, fire station staff would have to consider their options before deciding on a final building layout.

“We’re going to have to be creative in how we structure (the building), especially when it comes to storage,” he said.

“I supported the resolution in May, but a 70 percent ‘no’ from the people tells you we need to rethink something,” Westfield Center Mayor Tom Horwedel said.

“My feeling is that people need to see something (a blueprint or building plan) and they want to see it before the election.”

Messages for Lucas Fortney may be left at (330) 721-4065.



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