No new fire station coming for Follansbee

FOLLANSBEE — Mayor David Velegol Jr. said he and other city officials have dropped the idea of building a new fire station, choosing instead to pursue renovations of the present one near the intersection of Main and Allegheny streets.

On Monday council agreed to advertise for an engineer to plan the renovations, including replacing the floor, which

Velegol said future plans would include addressing the station’s deteriorating floor and could involve adding bays for fire vehicles on city property at the building’s south end.

Earlier this year the small parking area by the station used for firefighters’ private vehicles was removed after a wall supporting it collapsed.

But Velegol said that hasn’t led to concerns about the building itself.

He said he recommended the move after receiving input from City Fire Chief Larry Rea and others.

Velegol said the station has historic significance to many, particularly the many firefighters who have served there, and renovating would be comparatively less expensive than building a new station elsewhere.

Council had planned to consider proposals for a new station either at the site of the former Eagles Lodge on Main Street or on land along state Route 2 at the city’s north end from Lombardi Development and local developers Jim Joseph and Scott Ewusiak, who own the respective properties.

In related business, council agreed to seek bids for a pumper/foam truck for the fire department, using a $428,572 federal Fire Act grant secured recently and other funds.

Also on Monday, council approved the paving of Marquette Avenue from Mark Avenue to Parkview, Highland Hills Drive and the 900 and 1000 blocks of Virginia Avenue.

The work will be done by Carl Kelly Paving of Rayland at a cost of about $100,000.

Velegol said with cooler weather approaching, plans call for about a third of the paving to be done this fall and the rest completed in spring.

(Scott can be contacted at wscott@heraldstaronline.com.)

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