Concord’s Plan vs Lyndhurst’s Plan…which is more fiscally responsible?

Thanks to our Concord lobbyists for the News-Herald article below regarding Lyndhurst’s solution to replace their aging fire station.

The “Affordable Concord Taxes” group is extremely concerned about the Concord trustees continuing to keep the Township in debt for many, many years.

  1. Several years ago Concord took out a loan for the Capital Parkway road project and is just now paying it off this year.
  2. Now, they’re asking taxpayers to pay for a 28-year bond levy, starting next year.

In a prior article, LFC reported the “Questions and Answers” provided by the Concord officials.  They are very transparent about how they will continue to borrow money to pay for the fire stations.  Their plan is as follows:

“Once Fire Station #1 is complete, we will look for another loan or issue bonds, backed with JEDD dollars, to pay for Fire Station #2. We will also be using some TIF dollars to help pay for the second fire station. We will NOT be going back to the voters to build Station #2.”

So they will take out another loan/bonds to pay for Station #2, and how will they pay for the new administration building?  Another loan or bond?

Concord has been and will be bogged down by debt for years!

Consider the approach taken by Lyndhurst Mayor, Patrick Wood, in their solution to replacing an aging fire station.

“Our Council and administration worked very hard to assure we could stay long-term debt free since 2012, with the needs of this project and the department in mind,” said Mayor Patrick Ward.

*********************1776

LYNDHURST

Officials break ground on new fire station

Total project reported to be completed in September of next year, per city

By Chad Felton

cfelton@news-herald.com @believethatcfnh on Twitter

Lyndhurst officials recently gathered to ceremoniously break ground for the city’s new fire station.

The department’s equipment is being temporarily housed in a large tent behind City Hall during the construction.

Fire personnel have modified their living quarters and office space to make room for the improvements, said Chief Michael Carroll.

“The department is made of 26 firefighters, including one female,” Carroll added. “The former apparatus bays, which were torn down, will be replaced by a slightly larger structure that will be two stories high.”

The fire department offices and dormitories will be located on the second floor. Once the new structure is completed and the firefighters have moved into the new space, their current quarters will be renovated to provide specific areas for staff training and exercise.

“This project will bring the Lyndhurst Fire Station up to current industry standards with a flexibility to meet the future needs of the department and the community,” Carroll said, adding the that old structure was completed in 1974. “We’re also poised for the future with new opportunities for new technologies we won’t have to retrofit.”

Lyndhurst City Council and administration spent the last five years studying and planning for the project in order to arrive at a plan that met not only the need but the city’s tight budget requirements.

The cost of construction has been set at $4,413,976. The city chose the Construction Manager at Risk contracting model to keep to that figure, Council confirmed. (Based on the model, the city is not responsible for any sum spent over the contract amount.) Lyndhurst is financing the construction based on a 15-year term with an early call option so that the city can retire the debt earlier, if possible, without penalty.

“Our Council and administration worked very hard to assure we could stay long-term debt free since 2012, with the needs of this project and the department in mind,” said Mayor Patrick Ward.

“When our station was designed in the early 1970s, the equipment was smaller, our department had fewer members and no one envisioned the possibility of a female firefighter. We have squeezed a lot of change into our original footprint.”

The current schedule projects the department will occupy their new apparatus bays by February and new living quarters by May of next year. The completion of the total project will be in September.

Carroll said the transition to the new 12,500-square foot building is short-term pain for long-term gain.  (LFC Comment:  This is the size of the proposed Prouty Road fire station #2, which is considered an satellite facility.  Concord’s main station will be 24,000 square feet) 

“It’s been pretty impressive how they’ve deconstructed without damaging or disturbing operations. Everything’s been kept functional and the staff has been very accommodating.

“And Council and the mayor have been tremendously supportive,” he added. “They’ve worked closely together and didn’t cut corners. The community has been great also. We’ve received very good feedback, which is awesome.”

Ward 2 Councilman Joe Gambatese believes the project was long overdue.

“It’s about time,” he said. “Once we had a package that was financially responsible, we knew we’d have a beautiful structure. We’re all looking forward to seeing this completed.”

Ward agreed.

“We are very pleased with the progress that has been made thus far and are targeting an early completion of all phases,” he said.

The current schedule projects the department will occupy their new apparatus bays by February and new living quarters by May of next year.



Categories: Concord, Lake County Cities & Townships, Uncategorized

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