Toledo fire station fixes on hold as city tries to hire consultant

Toledo fire station fixes on hold as city tries to hire consultant
Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 6:51 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The need is certainly there, the money is ready to go but fixes to Toledo fire stations are on hold.

It turns out the city is looking for someone to oversee the project as firefighters continue living in houses with things like leaky roofs.

Issues at these fire stations have been ongoing for years and years. So that’s not new but what was new are plans and money to fix them. Fixes that are not happening, at least not yet.

The sign atop the union hall for Toledo Firefighters Local 92 is pretty clear. Leaky roofs they were told would be addressed still have not been.

“Finally it comes to ‘OK, they’re finally listening to us. They finally allocated the money.’ The work is getting ready to scheduled to start and all of the sudden stops,” Matt Tabb, the president of Local 92 said.

After a feasibility study this year illustrated the issues the dollars were approved. Bids for the repairs went out.

“The projects are still there and we know that. The money has been allocated. The city administration has decided it wants to put a pause on it,” Private Sterling Rahe of the Toledo Fire & Rescue Department said.

Paused because the city is looking for a consultant on the project. This bid calls it someone doing “construction project management services.” The group selected would not only oversee the fire station projects but the community and senior center fixes as well.

“It’s frustrating but it’s at that level where the decision was made to make sure the right people are in place and make sure these millions of dollars that have been allocated that the projects are done completely and thoroughly. Make sure the right people, the experts are making the right decisions,” Rahe said.

“We’ve got all these roofs where the work is ready to be done on and no now we’re not going to do that anymore,” Tabb said. “You’re in a fire station and this has been going on for decades that you have all these improvements that need to be done. Cabinets falling off the walls. Mold and everything going on. The roofs are leaking.”

The fire union calling it an added layer of bureaucracy. A city spokeswoman said because of large-scale projects in a short amount of time, an experienced consultant will come up with an effective and efficient schedule.

Caught in the middle of all that, firefighters calling these stations home for 24 hours at a time, many of them badly in need of repair.

Bids for that consultant are due Tuesday.

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