Lorain residents curious about where new fire station is

Posted at 6:34 PM, Oct 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-08 18:34:48-04

It's been almost two years since the 2016 fire levy passed, and Lorain residents are wondering where the new fire station is they voted and paid for.

The short answer, the $1.7 million the city of Lorain asked to have, for a new fire station, still hasn't been used. 

"Multiple people have been complaining and calling downtown and it doesn't seem to be doing anything," resident Gary Luman said.  

Luman owns the Gas Station and Auto Repair shop across the street from the land where the station is set to be built, at Missouri Avenue and Garfield Boulevard.

"Everybody wants to know where it's at," he said, "We paid for it! The money is already there."

Luman isn't the only one wondering. He told News 5 it's the talk of the neighborhood. 

"I don't want to say it's become an ongoing joke. But it's become an ongoing thing that everybody is talking about around here," he explained. 

So, what's the deal?

RELATED: Where's the new fire station Lorain was promised? Chief gives update

News 5 has been working to answer that question for almost a year now.

RELATED: More than one year after levy, Lorain residents wonder where new fire station is

"The levy passed, the money is there. Some of the people who live around here feel they didn't get what they voted for," we asked Lorain Fire Chief Matt Homolya in January. 

 "They're getting what they voted for. They just need to be patient with us," he answered. 

"Late spring, they were supposed to break ground, then early summer, now its autumn and we still have nothing," Luman said. 

Homolya and the Fire Union have pushed for the new station for years.

They called it a public safety priority before the five year property tax levy passed in 2016, since the current station is not centrally located and is nearly 100 years old. 

So, News 5 reached out to city officials. 

No one with the city was available or willing to do an interview Monday.

City council representative, Beth Henley, talked to us a year ago, in October 2017, before she was elected; "We want our fire station. It's just that simple," she said.

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

Henley told News 5 on the phone Monday she was aware of what was going on but had no comment for the media and hung up. 

Dan Given, the city's public safety and service director explained in an emailed statement; "The City of Lorain Fire Chief and Administration are working hand in hand with the architect to bring the project to completion.  Due to the changes in the construction market and ability to spend the tax payer dollars wisely, we have had to alter the original plan in order to effectively utilize the funds from the levy.  Our plan is to have a pathway forward that works within the next 30 days."

"They're talking about developing Lorain. But how does this make them look? That they can't get this built with money they've already taken," Luman said.