Fire chief 'very pleased' with new station study

Norwalk Fire Chief Doug Coletta is "very pleased" that Norwalk City Council has appropriated $10,000 from the city's general fund for a study to determine the need for a new fire station. The Ohio Fire Chiefs Association (OFCA) will be doing the two-month study.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 25, 2010


Norwalk Fire Chief Doug Coletta is "very pleased" that Norwalk City Council has appropriated $10,000 from the city's general fund for a study to determine the need for a new fire station.

The Ohio Fire Chiefs Association (OFCA) will be doing the two-month study.

"They do some consulting business and this is one of the things they do. They're a top notch organization and they do a good job," Coletta said.

The current station, at 37 N. Linwood Ave., was built in 1912 to house a fire department that relied on horses. The department purchased its most recent truck, more expensive than a standard size one, based solely on size and measurements. Even then, the mirrors had to be replaced so the shorter, slender model truck could fit through the doors.

"Things just don't fit," the chief said. "I think it's time to take a good, hard look at this building."

Coletta, who in March told council the station is obsolete, said council members and firefighters agree it's time to consider a new facility.

There is one shower in the current building and the dorms can not accommodate a female firefighter. The facility has no general entrance. The chief's office is upstairs above the garage, so citizens have to walk through the station to access their public officials.

Coletta does not want to get involved with making suggestions or setting parameters for a new station. He wants OFCA to gather data in order to get objective information for the city of Norwalk, all of Norwalk Township and the portion of Bronson Township that Norwalk firefighters cover.

The idea for a new fire station started with retired Chief Robert Bores, who held the position from 1991 until his Oct. 28, 2006 retirement. Coletta credited Norwalk Mayor Sue Lesch with making the new fire house a priority after EPA mandated expenditures for the sewage and water treatment plant during the city's recent comprehensive plan.

"We certainly wouldn't have gotten this (study) going without the mayor's help."

Lesch, in March, said the new building needs to "meet the needs of today and does some crystal ball gazing." On Thursday, she said citizens questioned what should be done about the current facility during the comprehensive plan.

Like the chief, the mayor also mentioned the need to get objective information, but specified location, size and manpower. "Long term, manpower is the biggest expense," Lesch said.

The projected price tag for a new station is $3.8 million.

"That's not a hard number," Lesch said, adding that the study will look at other fire houses. "We have no timeline."

Council President Steve Euton, in the spring, estimated it would be at least three to five years before building a new station is a legitimate option, given the planning and studies.


carissa (Anonymous)

I think the two firefighters in this pic are so gorgeous.

jonna (Anonymous)

I agree and I would like to also add that I think all of the firefighters are hott! sssssssssssss.

T$Robinson (Ano...

I do also agree that norwalk's firestation is definately outdated and that we need to finance and build a new station , the only problem that i have is , why do we need to spend $10.000.00 to determine whether we need a new station or not ?? i think that if you polled all of the residents in this town , probably at least 85%of them would agree that we need a new station !!! so there is your answer , i just saved us all of that money !!but if you need to officially get a public response , i am offering to sit downtown and ask people for their opinions about whether we need a new fire station or not , and i will give whoever need the answers to , the answers !! and i will do it a heck of alot cheaper than $10,000.00.....wouldn't that money be better spent on the firestation itself ?? and , when we build the new station , maybe we could all learn a lesson from St Paul's Catholic church's parish ... when they have a project that needs undertaking , they first turn to their members , or in this case, to the townspeople, to see if they would be willing to do the work throught the donation of their time ... ei..they get masonry and concrete work done by the people in the parish , who do that type of work , and the parish usually only has to pay for the materials , not the labor , and the craftsmen really put their all into the project because it is a sense of being a part of something , and the pride that they feel for helping out and being involved..maybe the craftsmen of norwalk would be willing and proud to help design and build the firestation of our future

American 1st (A...

Sure, we need a new fire station. That is fairly obvious.The study and the planning and the construction will serve first and foremost to generate revenue for the "right people". Actually getting a new, usable facility is secondary or not even important in this whole process. This is what government is all about.

replier (Anonymous)

T$ - the study is not just finding out wether a new fire station is needed. It will also tell them many other things like the possible need for two stations in a growing town like Norwalk, the placement of the station(s), and many other things. $10,000 will be money well spent to do things right.

me (Anonymous)

T$Robinson: I think that's a great idea to ask the community for help. I know plenty of people who'd volunteer.

HARRY S, (Anonymous)

The Ohio Fire Chiefs Association (OFCA) will be doing the two-month study.


if you want an objective assesment appoint a panel of known integrity and expertise to advise. sizing of equiptment to fit the facility is a rational tact, not a need for a new station. showers...perhaps they could be expanded, certainly not a need to spend 4 million. clients walking a few extra steps????????????, you get the point. only a moron would spend 3 or 4 million of our money to remedy these elemnts. if that is the best that the chief can express himself it's time for a new chief. i'm insulted by the dialog so far. the mayors comments would indicate an agenda beyond serving the needs of the citizens and tax payers. lets not just be taken for sorry suckers by these idiots.

T$Robinson (Ano...

i am totally in favor of building a new fire station , or maybe several sub-stations , i don't think that that is the issue .. i am still bothered by this $10,000.00 study .. what is all included in this study?? will it just be a recommendation from whomever that we need a new station ?? if thats the case i think we are being robbed of our money . we already know that we need a new fire station .. does the study determin where the best location will be? the best size and design of the building and the best traffic patern for the new station ?? if it does then , ok maybe it is money well spent if it answers all of the questions .. but to spend that kind of money just to determin whether we need a new station , is wasteful, and irresponsible, lets put that $10,000.00 into the construction of the new station , and not into someone's determination that of a question that we already know the answer to

answer (Anonymous)

I would highly recommend that if you ever have a question having to do with taxpayers money that you go directly to the payed official. That is part of their job - to answer the public's question. They (city workers) are called public servants - and that is exactly what they do. I would urge you to call the Chief on this matter and ask him directly. If you don't get a answer or you have more questions I'm sure they (the public servant) can direct you to a better answer. Before you make statements like "ASKING THE FOX IF HE NEEDS A DOOR ON THE HEN HOUSE" I would make sure you know the facts. As you can tell by other forums on the internet people really do believe what they read on the internet. And, also, Harry S. 3 or 4 million is money well spent to house the equipment and people that protect our lives.

me (Anonymous)

They desperately need a new firestation. The current one is so obsolete its unbelievable. I am behind them 100%. They are a great group of guys!!

luvourfd (Anonymous)

If you have questions as to how the city will benefit from spending $10,000 for this study...I suggest you sit down with Chief Coletta and ask him. I work with the guys on the NFD on a daily basis and they truely deserve better than what they have right now. They are a GREAT group of guys who do a wonderful job. I could think of many ways that this city has wasted money in the past, this is definately something worth while. Keep in mind...the city not only need an updated facility, but they need something that will serve us for many years to come and allow the fire department to meet the growing needs of the city.

AlterEgo (Anonymous)

How abou the raise $10,000 by offering a "Date with a Fireman" auction. I bet Jonna and Carissa would bid......

AlterEgo (Anonymous)

But seriously, I don't think the study is just whether or not we need a new firestation, it is what kind, how many, and where located that are the real questions which will need answered. And as far as having someone other than fireman detail what you need, well that is just stupid. You have to use the experts in the field tell you what you need to have, with all the bells and whisltes. Then you can eleminate the things when you can live without or can phase in later. It like going to the proctologist to get his opinion on knee surgery becuase you think the knee surgeon is going to tell you to have the surgey regardless.