Cascade Township, Michigan, January 12, 2021 –
Cascade Township is inviting residents to tune in to a virtual public engagement meeting Tuesday, Jan. 19 for a presentation on findings from the Facilities Study on the Township’s emergency response needs.
The meeting comes after a six-month study that sought and secured community input regarding the Township’s 2018-19 Facilities Study. Residents identified facilities used by the Cascade Fire Department as the Township’s top need. Fire Station 1, which shares a space with Township offices at 2865 Thornhills Ave. SE, was prioritized as the top need among all the Township’s fire facilities.
As part of the comprehensive Facilities Study, the Township’s architectural firm Progressive AE reviewed and rated Fire Station 1’s overall condition as “poor.” The study revealed the station’s need for significant repair and expansion to increase the Fire Department’s safety, functionality and efficiency when responding to emergencies.
Specifically, the study found the apparatus bays are too small and the current station does not comply with current National Fire Protection Association requirements. Additionally, mechanical systems are not operating adequately and would require costly repairs. The physical layout of the station poses safety concerns for firefighters and the public during an emergency. Staff living quarters are undersized, leading to unsafe conditions for firefighters racing to respond to emergency calls.
“Our Fire Department has simply outgrown this facility, which no longer meets all building codes nor adequately serves our community’s needs,” Cascade Fire Chief Adam Magers said. “These challenges have grown abundantly clear during the COVID-19 pandemic, which requires even more space for physical distancing and proper decontamination for the safety of our team.”
The study evaluated two options to address the multiple shortcomings of Fire Station 1: expanding and upgrading the facility at its current location or identifying an alternate location for a new facility. The current location, which was not built to house a fire station, would require a significant expansion and upgrade of mechanical and other systems.
Township officials, members of the Fire Department and Progressive AE have spent the past 18 months evaluating potential locations for a new Fire Station 1. Response times, access to main response routes, compliance with fire station codes, parcel size and other factors were studied while selecting the considered locations.
The team reviewed dozens of parcels within the Township before identifying two potential locations that could meet the Fire Department’s criteria.
“We have spent significant time evaluating all viable options within the Township and we look forward to sharing our due diligence with the community,” Township Manager Ben Swayze said. “Our residents and businesses continue to show strong support for our Fire Department, and we look forward to their comments and input as we explore appropriate next steps to invest in their safety.”
Because of concerns over COVID-19, the public engagement meeting will be conducted via Zoom. The presentation will begin at 6 p.m., with public comment to follow. A recording of the presentation and a survey will be posted on the Township’s website Jan. 20 for those who are unable to attend the meeting but want to provide feedback.
To view and stay up to date on the meeting, please visit the Township’s website
or Facebook event page
About Cascade Township
Home to more than 19,000 residents, Cascade Township is committed to serving the public by providing the finest community services possible with respect, efficiency and integrity. With the Thornapple River at its heart, Cascade Township is recognized as an excellent place to live, work, play and raise a family. For more information, visit www.cascadetwp.com