Russell Township Trustees last week began the process of leveling the old fire station.
During a Sept. 1 meeting, trustees discussed steps that need to be taken to demolish the aging station now used for storage. The first steps include the removal of security cameras that are placed around the building, as well as shut the power down to the building and actually emptying the building, according to Trustee Jim Mueller.
“It’s full of stuff,” said Mr. Mueller, who has been against leveling the building for years.
Mr. Mueller has said the building should be repurposed, but members of the Geauga County Budget Commission advised the fire house should come down.
“The trustees have been in the process of painting themselves into a corner by not doing any real maintenance [on the building] for years,” Mr. Mueller said. “While the old fire station is close to 70 years old, the Town Hall is close to 150 years old and it’s doing just fine because we’re doing maintenance on it all the time.”
The steps for the old fire station also include a temporary closure to the township’s recycling center for two weeks, officials said at the meeting. Mr. Mueller said it could be closer to six weeks.
“That is one of the most important services that the people rely on,” Mr. Mueller said.
Trustee Gary Gabram said that the cost to raze the building is $20,000. He said he hopes everything is “in line and ready to go” by the middle of Ocotober, as it will take about a month to complete.