Firehouse 25 ground breaking set


By Greg Smart - gsmart@civitasmedia.com



Rotarian Cheryl Thomas (right) hosted Huber Heights Fire Chief Mark Ashworth (left) as the speaker on Monday at the noon meeting of the Huber Heights Rotary Club. Ashworth shows the architectural rendering for Firehouse 25 which has undergone some minor changes.


Photo by Greg Smart

By Greg Smart

gsmart@civitasmedia.com

HUBER HEIGHTS — A ceremonial groundbreaking for Firehouse 25, a satellite station, will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 25 at 9975 St. Rt. 202 with parking available across the street at Trimble.

Huber Heights Fire Chief Mark Ashworth, who has been chief for the past five years, spoke at the Huber Heights Rotary Club on Monday concerning the plans for this facility. He indicated that in 2005 an income tax was passed with some funds designated to build a third fire station in the northern part of Huber Heights. But around 2009, the recession affected the country, delaying any plans to push forward with this project.

Two hurdles were cleared when two kep components were passed by local voters that solidified the Fire Division’s ability to maintain current staffing levels. This involved the passage of a .25 percent income tax (Issue 19) in November 2014 and a renewal levy (Issue 13) in May as part of what is known as the 2025 Plan.

Ashworth said there is positive growth throughout the city of Huber Heights. He said many people don’t realize the integral part the Fire Division plays in economic development as they review the plans of any business that is changed or added to the community. He said that as the city continues to grow, that he has made provisions in long term planning to add a fourth fire station., which would be Firehouse 24.

Ashworth said Firehouse 25 will house upwards to five individuals starting with low staffing due to cost implications.

“We need to do this slowly, we need to do it smart and be fiscally responsible,” he said.

Ashworth said this station will be built with the provision that there will never need to be an addition constructed, which is why he said there would be three apparatus bays and six total bedrooms in this facility.

He said they were trying to use materials which require low maintenance in the nearly 8000 square foot facility, which he said was a typical size for a satelite station. He said they wanted to use some low cost materials such as all LED lighting. The building would be of metal and brick fabrication. There will be a flat roof and rain water will be collected for use in the irrigation system. He indicated they were looking at variations in the heating and cooling system in order to keep costs down. He said a community room has also been added to the station.

Ashworth said it is his hope to introduce a Fire Cadet Program similar to the Police Cadet Program once this station is up and running. He said this would be a prime location for that type of program as the station is tucked in a residential area.

He said the station will serve all of northern Huber Heights from I-70 north all the way up to St. Rt. 40.

“People don’t realize that we do have property off of St. Rt. 40 that does belong to us and with the growth of Carriage Trails that is occuring, which is still one of the fastest growing residential community anywhere in southwest Ohio.”

Ashworth said homes are being pushed all the way over to St. Rt. 201. This includes two luxury apartment complexes slated to be built off 201 at the end of Carriage Trails and said there was another assisted living facility projected. He said that with the YMCA, the Aquatic Park and the Music Center and future growth, this station will help response times. He said the city will slowly add staff to Firehouse 24 to meet growth needs.

Ashworth cited a lightning strike which caused a fire in the attic of a $350,000 home in Carriage Trails. He said it took his crews eight minutes to arrive which he said is “unacceptable.” He said the national standard is for a department to respond anywhere in the city within three to five minutes.

“We are now seeing a need,” he said. “Saturday, at the two stations with the 13 people on duty, we did 19 calls in a 24 hour period. We are getting busier.”

He said the city will be finishing its request for proposal from the contractor and break ground constructionally-wise by early October. He expects the facility to take about 18 months to build and hopefully be operational by the end of 2016.

“I’m looking forward to this,” said Ashworth. “It’s a long time coming.”

“I applaud City Council, city management and all of you for your support, because without it this wouldn’t happen,” said Ashworth.

Reach Greg Smart at 937-236-4990, ext. 2542 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.com.

Rotarian Cheryl Thomas (right) hosted Huber Heights Fire Chief Mark Ashworth (left) as the speaker on Monday at the noon meeting of the Huber Heights Rotary Club. Ashworth shows the architectural rendering for Firehouse 25 which has undergone some minor changes.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/35/2015/08/web1_Fire_712.jpgRotarian Cheryl Thomas (right) hosted Huber Heights Fire Chief Mark Ashworth (left) as the speaker on Monday at the noon meeting of the Huber Heights Rotary Club. Ashworth shows the architectural rendering for Firehouse 25 which has undergone some minor changes. Photo by Greg Smart

By Greg Smart

gsmart@civitasmedia.com

Reach Greg Smart at 937-236-4990, ext. 2542 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.com.

Reach Greg Smart at 937-236-4990, ext. 2542 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.com.