Groundbreaking of New Central Fire Station Set for March 31st

Groundbreaking of New Central Fire 
Station Set for March 31st

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - The date for the groundbreaking of Meridian Township’s new Central Fire Station has been announced.

The groundbreaking at the station’s site on Okemos Road south of Central Park drive will be held on March 31 at 11 am. It is open to the public and the media.

A $3.5 million bond proposal to build the new station was approved by voters in November 2012. In December 2014 the Township Board approved the re-submitted design plans and budget for the new station.

Meridian Township Fire Chief Fred Cowper said he is excited to see his vision for a new fire station become a reality.

“It’s a vision that I had when I was hired 17 years ago,” Cowper said.

Cowper is scheduled to speak at the groundbreaking, along with a Township Board official.

“Well, if I can not cry, I guess, that would be a good thing,” said Cowper. “It's been a long time coming and it'll certainly be emotional. It'll be emotional for a lot of the firefighters, who've worked very hard in planning and being patient. We're going to have our board members there, I think it will be a proud day for everyone.”

The Central Fire Station is moving from its former location at 2150 Clinton Road, which closed in February 2014.

Cowper said the former Central Fire Station had several flaws. Among them: a lack of a backup generator and living quarters that were not accommodating for the growing number of women firefighters. He said the old building was in poor overall condition, which was a hindrance in effectively serving the community.

“The station will provide us all the things that we feel will help us become a better department and better serve our residents,” said Cowper.

Cowper said the new Central Fire Station will promote cohesiveness among the fire department. The administrative offices where Cowper works are currently located in the Meridian Township Public Safety Building. This makes it difficult for Cowper to communicate with battalion chiefs, captains, and other firefighters. The administrative offices are set to move into the new Central Fire Station on December 15, 2015.

Cowper hopes the new Central Fire Station- his dream come true-will work to better the Township.

“My father and my father in law, they both fought in the Philippines during World War II, and one thing they both have instilled in me is that you always leave something better than you found it,” Cowper said. “For me, I can honestly say I'm going to leave this fire department better than I found it. And that's important."

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