Delaware News

City selects architect for new fire station

Though a contract hasn't yet been awarded, the city has selected Mull & Weithman of Columbus and Michael Schuster Associates of Cincinnati as the architect team for the new fire station at the northwest corner of Lexington Boulevard and West Central Avenue.

Total construction costs are approximately $2 million. The city will use about $900,000 in fire impact fee funds to pay for construction costs, and the rest will be paid for with fire levy funds, said Delaware community affairs coordinator Lee Yoakum.

The design cost is estimated at $160,000.

The city will build a new station similar to the Pittsburgh Drive substation. The building will cover from 9,000 to 10,000 square feet.

This will be the city's third fire station.

Fire chief John Donahue said a large portion of emergency calls come from the northwest quadrant of the city, where the West Central property is located. Fifty percent of the time, the fire department arrives within six minutes of a call. The new location would increase that percentage to 70 percent.

The fire department will be staffed by both new and veteran personnel, Yoakum said.

The city will select a contractor later this year, Yoakum said. Construction will start late this year, and the station could open in late 2012.

Council also selected Miller Valentine Group as the development team for the former Delaware Hotel site at 351 S. Sandusky St.

Miller Valentine Group submitted one of four redevelopment proposals in February for low- and moderate-income senior housing. An evaluation team, including two Delaware City Planning Commission members and one member of the Ohio Wesleyan University community, reviewed the proposals.

Miller Valentine proposed an 89-unit complex, costing about $18.5 million over three phases. A four-story building with 14 one-bedroom and 35 two-bedroom units would house 49 units. A three-story building with eight one-bedroom units and 18 two-bedroom units would hold a total of 26 units.

Miller Valentine also proposes seven single-story duplex villas and a commercial space in one or two buildings. A 10,000-square-foot wellness center would include medical, therapy and supportive services for residents and the neighborhood. This commercial portion would be privately financed.

The city will need to seek tax credits from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency for the project. OHFA will announce awards in March. Construction will start in October 2012 and end in December 2013.

In other council news:

  • The city is seeking $104,000 from the Ohio Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Formula Allocation Program. Funds would go to the following projects: Olentangy Avenue street, walk, storm improvements, $140,000; street repaving in low- to moderate-income areas, $88,800; and required fair housing and administration activities, $20,600. City revolving loan funds would add $145,400 to the project costs.
  • The city entered into a preliminary agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation for resurfacing U.S. Route 36 between the western and eastern corporation limits, and state Route 521 from U.S. 36 to the north corporation limit. The total estimated cost is $1.4 million. Delaware is required to pay $275,000. The city also is required to spend $500,000 on base repairs, which will start in late July or August. ODOT will start resurfacing by June or July of 2012.
  • The city scheduled a public hearing at 7:50 p.m. on June 27 on legislation that would change fees the city charges those who fail to mow lawns. The change would charge property owners $100 per violation. Currently, an average residence costs between $30-$60 for contracted mowing plus an administrative 20-percent fee.