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

Posted at 5:55 PM, Jun 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-29 18:34:40-04

The $1.7 million the city of Lorain requested for a new fire station still hasn't been used almost a year and a half after folks in Lorain voted and paid for a levy. 

You may remember the city's budget struggle with the fire department in 2016 when more than 20 firefighters were laid off and station replacements put on hold. 

Then a state grant saved 22 jobs. Residents showed up at the polls and passed a 5-year property tax levy to maintain them and pay for a new station and improvements. 

The replacements and improvements are a public safety priority since the current station 4 serving the area is not centrally located and is nearly 100 years old. 

But residents are still waiting. 

When News 5 checked in on the story this past winter, we were told they hoped to break ground this summer. But Friday, inches from July, and with no construction crews on site, we asked Fire Chief Matt Homolya - what's going on?  

When asked about the hold-up, Chief Homolya responded:

"We are hoping to still possibly break ground in the summer. We sent out requests for qualification and found two contractors. We need to continue to negotiate with them and get the price down, but once that's done, I'm confident we will get started as soon as possible."

The chief told News 5 the prices have significantly increased over the past year, but they plan to wrap up those negotiations and settle on a contractor soon. 

The chief and the fire union have pushed for the new station from the get-go.

"It's been nonstop. It's even frustrating road for me it's gone that long," the chief explained. 

The message he wants to share with residents tonight: "This project is going to happen. We need to be responsible with their money though, and stay within the budget."

He's optimistic about breaking ground at the end of summer.