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 JANET DeMARTELAERE ROCCO TENAGLIA
BUFORD HERRONELIZABETH REIBER
GARY VETTRAINOGIOVANNINA WESOLOWSKI
MARY SULLIVANPHILIP KITTELL JR.
SHERRI LEWINSKITHOMAS AVEREYN
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Posted: 09/04/13

Planners want more
details on MSP building

by CHRIS GRAY
Observer Staff Writer
      Preliminary approval was granted for an accessory building that would serve the Bruce-Romeo Fire Department and Michigan State Police (MSP).
       At its Aug. 28 meeting, the Bruce Township Planning Commission voted 7-0 in favor of a concept that would install an accessory building to house equipment for local first responders.
       The approval, however, isn't a final go-ahead from the commission since it wants more details about the project and input from the interim fire chief.
       Preliminary drawings show a 1,800 square foot building located behind the Bruce-Romeo Fire Department Station 2 on Van Dyke. The building would have four bay doors.
       The project was spear-headed by Trooper Darby O'Dell of the MSP, who was not present at the Aug. 28 meeting. She has proposed that the building could house fire department equipment as well as spare tires, flares and other items the troopers can't keep in their cruisers.
       She has said the building would benefit troopers that use the fire department as a remote station because they wouldn't need to drive to areas like Novi just to retrieve equipment.
       Commissioner Paul Okoniewski, the Board of Trustees' representative on the commission, said it was in the township's interest to move forward with the project. However, he said it might be premature to approve the plan, especially without O'Dell or the interim fire chief to provide information.
       "If they're looking for something that just says we're OK with the initial thought idea of it . . . I guess we can look at that," he said.
       Commissioners agreed that should the proposal come before them again they would like to see a detailed site plan. Okoniewski said he would like the amount of detail to match the plans submitted for Fire Station 3 that was recently constructed on East Gates Street.
       Chris McLeod, planning consultant, said the commission should determine who would own the building as well as to the degree of vehicle maintenance that will occur within the building.
       O'Dell is seeking donations to build the facility, which is estimated to cost $60,000 to $90,000. She is asking the Romeo Lions Club to collect donations on behalf of the project before turning them over to the township.
       James Carnago, planning commissioner and Zoning Board of Appeals chairperson, said the Lions club is checking on the legality of collecting on behalf of the township.
       "You also have a third party here, namely Bruce Township," Carnago said. "It's in the works."
       Students and staff from the Romeo Engineering and Technology Center created and donated the drawings and plans for the project.
       Chuck Pedrotte, a Bruce resident, was part of the initial meetings to discuss the accessory building. He said he was in support of the project since it keeps the state police in the area.
       "It'd be nice if they stayed here," he said.


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