With the continued improvements coming to The Point, the Tri-Township Fire Department (TTFD) will soon be displaced from its current station at 495 Sunbury Road in Delaware. In need of a temporary facility from which to operate, the City of Delaware is coming to its aid.
During Monday’s meeting of Delaware City Council, members of council voted to authorize City Manager Tom Homan to execute a memorandum of understanding with TTFD to allow it to temporarily use the city-owned property at 680 Sunbury Road while awaiting the completion of its permanent home.
The TTFD station will eventually be relocated to the Byxbe Campus, formerly known as the Delaware Area Career Center North Campus and located at 1610 state Route 521, but the development of the station has not progressed at the rate originally anticipated. During the planning phase of The Point project in 2017, it was expected that TTFD would have already vacated the current station and moved into its new home. Now, with work on the new railroad bridge set to begin soon, the TTFD will need to relocate prior to June.
Fortunately for TTFD, the City of Delaware’s recently acquired property at 680 Sunbury Road presents an obvious facility for TTFD to utilize for the time being. In December 2021, council approved the purchase of the property, which will eventually become the city’s fifth fire station.
The property, which formerly served as the location of American Freight, was purchased for $3,995,000 using funds from the city’s Fire and EMS Fund. The existing building on the property will be renovated at an estimated cost of approximately $3 million to serve as Station 305 and the headquarters for the Delaware Fire Department (DFD).
Expectations are for the DFD to use this year to plan for renovations, with the renovations likely being finished near the end of 2023.
Delaware Fire Chief John Donahue said the hope for TTFD is to be out of the city facility by the end of 2022. Under the memorandum, the TTFD has agreed to use its best efforts to vacate the building by the end of March 2023. However, TTFD will not be required to leave the building any sooner than May 31, 2023.
As part of the memorandum, the city has agreed to construct a concrete median crossover of U.S. Route 36/state Route 37 with signs for both eastbound and westbound directions of travel to indicate the location of a fire station.
TTFD will not be charged any rent throughout the duration of its occupancy of the location, nor will it be asked to pay the costs of any improvements to the facility.
Mayor Carolyn Riggle noted during the meeting that the temporary relocation of TTFD to the city property is to the benefit of everyone on Delaware’s east side.
“This benefits everyone on the east side when they start working on The Point because if there is a fire, we still have someone there at this point,” Riggle said. “I think it’s a great collaboration, and I’m glad it’s going to work out.”