Medina mayor says ‘desperate need’ for new ladder truck

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 March 2022 at 8:42 am

Firehall would need to be expanded to accommodate bigger fire truck

Photos by Tom Rivers: The Medina ladder truck is shown on Jan. 12 at a fire on Knapp Street in Albion. Village officials want to begin working to replace the ladder truck from 1996.

MEDINA – Medina Mayor Mike Sidari hoped to push off replacing a ladder truck for a few more years. But he said the ladder truck the village needs to start working on a plan to replace the truck from 1996.

“We have a desperate need for a new ladder truck,” the mayor said at Monday’s Village Board meeting. “And if we get a new truck we need a place to have it.”

Acquiring a new truck and putting an addition on the fire hall could be financed through a bond. Sidari said he wants the projects discussed as part of the village budget meetings in April. The budget needs to be approved by April 30.

Sidari said Medina has some leeway in its budget and still remain under the state constitutional tax limit. For a village that is 2 percent of the five-year average full valuation.

Medina’s full valuation for the 2021-22 budget was $173,610,268 and 2 percent of that is $3,472,205. The current budget has a tax levy of $3,259,119, which is nearing the tax limit.

Medina’s current ladder truck is from 1996. The ladder is 75 feet long. Medina officials would like a truck with a 100-foot-long ladder.

The new truck would cost an estimated $1.2 million. The current truck needs frequent maintenance that is costly. Village officials said Medina is already spending about $70,000 a year on the current ladder to keep it going.

The current fire hall is too small for a bigger ladder truck. Currently there is only two inches of clearance from the top of the truck to get in and out of the bay in the fire hall. The new trucks are 4 inches above the top of the door.

Medina Fire Chief Matt Jackson has suggested the village consider a 75-by-50-foot addition to the fire hall with two taller bays to allow more space to get trucks in and out of the building.

An addition would be an estimated $1.3 million to $1.5 million for the building, and extending heating and other utilities, as well as engineering costs.

The current fire hall includes two buildings, a Medina sandstone structure from 1908 and then an annex built in the 1930s for the DPW. The DPW moved in 1955 and Medina FD took over the 3,960-square-foot space, which is 45 by 88 feet.

In addition to the larger fire trucks, the Medina FD runs four ambulances from the site and one of them, ambulance 61, can only fit in one of the bays.

Jackson would like to see an addition in the parking lot with garage bays about 3 ½ feet higher than the ones in the current building.

Jackson is suggesting Medina pursue a 4,980-square-foot addition that would be 60 by 83 feet. It would have space for modern ambulances and fire trucks, be ADA compliant, and meet the department’s needs for the next 50 to 100 years. It would also have space for potential female firefighters.

Medina officials expect there will be some grant funding to help with the truck and fire hall expansion.

Sidari said he wants to get the process moving.