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Huron fire station set for upgrade

Andy Ouriel • Aug 29, 2013 at 7:40 AM

“The maintenance of all of the city’s facilities is a top priority,” Huron city manager Andy White said.

The enhancements, scheduled to begin soon and wrap up by fall, include:

• Paving the cracked concrete driveway.

• Replacing the garage door thresholds, providing fire trucks and ambulances smoother access in and out of the station.

• Turning two bathrooms into handicap-accessible facilities. q Installing new carpeting in various areas.

• Fixing water-damaged masonry.

• Placing several security cameras in and around the station, with a monitoring station for firefighters to check on.

Some areas are receiving upgrades for the first time since the fire station opened in 1972, Huron fire Chief Steve Osterling said. “These upgrades are important just to keep the infrastructure up to date,” Osterling said.

The $130,000 comes from a pool of recently added debt totaling about $525,000, specifically earmarked to upgrade faulty infrastructure throughout Huron.

Other upgrades presently ongoing:

• Shoreline and landscaping improvements at the former ConAgra site. q Sprucing up the Lake Shore Electric Railway Trail, running parallel to U.S. 6 and Cleveland Road and connecting Woodlands Elementary to Huron High School. q Paving Jim Campbell Boulevard.

• Widening Rye Beach Road south of the Ohio 2 bridge, near the railroad tracks.

Huron officials assumed debt because there’s not enough money in Huron’s annual budget to address infrastructure issues. The city borrowed money at a low interest rate to fund construction improvements.

“There’s an economic sentiment: If you have no debt, then you are not doing anything,” White said. “Debt, if utilized correctly, is a very effective tool to develop a community.”

Huron’s total debt heading into 2013 was about $3.2 million, mostly from water and utility expenses. The city should pay off about $253,000 in owed funds this year.

Had the city avoided creating any new debt, area taxpayers could have paid off all existing obligations by 2023.

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