Dexter Township may have 2nd chance to purchase property for fire substation
Dexter Township has the money and the need to build a permanent fire substation. Now, it's looking for the right property. Where to purchase that property will most likely be on the agenda at Tuesday's board meeting.
Township Supervisor Pat Kelly said the five-acre property that the board had previously hoped to buy and didn't may be available for purchase. The five-acre property is at 11485 N. Territorial Road. It was sold Dec. 31 to a buyer other than Dexter Township because by the time the township board authorized approval of a purchase agreement on Dec. 18, the landowner already was in negotiations with the buyer, the owners of the Inverness Inn near Chelsea.
"The board is looking for other options, but the 11485 North Territorial property is absolutely an optimal piece of property because it is the best geographical location," said Kelly. "Time is everything, and it puts 100 percent of our people within five miles of our fire station."
The township's purchase agreement for the property that expired was for $262,000. Dexter Township Clerk Harley Rider said the new owner wants to sell the property for close to the price it paid — $300,000 — and that doesn't include legal fees and closing costs.
"It's a tradeoff between how much of the taxpayers' money the board is willing to spend," said Rider. "There are several other pieces of property we are just starting to look at that would require engineering and site work."
Dexter Township residents approved a tax up to 1 mill last November to build a new substation for the Dexter Area Fire Department.
Rider said the North Territorial site would require both the building and parking lot to be torn down and replaced. He says other pieces of property would be far less expensive, but another location would cause firefighters to be farther away from certain parts of the township.
For the past two years, Dexter Township's fire substation has been operating out of a temporary substation in a one-office trailer adjacent to a garage, on Multi Lakes Sewer Authority property at 12088 N. Territorial Road. There is no room for any additional firefighting equipment in the garage, and Rider says the trailer is not ideal for firefighters to live in.
Lisa Carolin is a freelance reporter for AnnArbor.com.