Eleven months after voting for a levy, Lorain residents still don't have a new fire station

Posted at 4:37 PM, Oct 20, 2017

It's been 11 months since Lorain residents voted in favor of a fire levy for a new fire department and they are still waiting on the city to start the project.

"They need to build a fire department, right here where it's supposed to be. That's what we were promised," said Eastside Block Watch Group Captain and Coordinator JR Lee. 

Lee said residents pushed for the levy last November because they wanted to improve public safety. 

"We were promised there would be a fire station here. At least the ground would be broken, it would be started. Ain't nothing here," Lee said.

In 2016, budget cuts forced the city to lay off 20 firefighters. Station replacements and improvements were all put on hold.

Lorain secured grant money to save the jobs of those firefighters.

Residents passed a 5-year property tax levy to keep the jobs of those firefighters once the grant money ran out as well as to pay for two new stations. 

The levy is expected to earn $1.4 annually. 

So where is in 1.4 million raised this year going? That's the question Lorain residents have been asking. 

"We told the folks of Lorain we really needed this money for capital improvements and to maintain the staffing," Fire Union President Bret Brown said.

The levy has passed and the money is there, but residents still haven't seen any movement on a new fire station.

"Some of the plans aren't moving along like they should be," Brown said.

According to Brown, both he and the 267 Local union will push for things to move forward. 

Lorain's Safety Director, Dan Given, said in an email:

"As to fire station plans, we are having continuous discussions about plans, land donations, proper procedural practices for building stations with new state laws, etc etc. We are continuing to plan with LFD and have more meetings scheduled to develop and finalize building plans so we can start the bidding procedures later this year."