Monitor Township Proposed New Fire Department 2020

Monitor Township Residents-

Serenus Johnson Construction and their supporting team members would like to express our deep level of gratitude for the opportunity to work with the Monitor Township Board Members and Chief Kramer as we collectively explored multiple design options for the proposed Fire Station Project.

Through many hours of collaboration with Chief Kramer and the other Fire Department members, our teams have established a clear understanding of what components are critical to support daily operations of the Monitor Fire Department. To further support the initiative, our collective teams visited surrounding Fire Stations collect what is working well as a facility and worthwhile to incorporate within our design.

We are proud to present our interpretation of these critical and fundamental components in our final conceptual design. This conceptual design meets all required aspects of a safe, modern and durable Fire Station that will serve the Monitor Township community for the next fifty years, while observing the MIOSHA part 74, NFPA 101, 1500 and 1581 standards.

Within this final conceptual design package, we have provided the generated design documents, preliminary construction schedule and project budgeting items for the Monitor Township Board’s review. We look forward to the upcoming Town Hall meetings to further support the conceptual design.


Bill Woolwine, Jr- President/Owner
Joel A. Keister- Vice President


Monitor Township has contracted Serenus Johnson and WTA Architects to provide assessment and design for a new/renovated fire department. The documentation our team produces will also provide support for the township as they pursue an August 2020 bond vote (view here) to build the new/renovated fire department space.

With a successful bond vote, the project will proceed into design and document development with the goal of construction beginning in 2021.


During our initial visit in January 2020, Serenus Johnson, WTA Architects and the Monitor Township Counsel began program verification to review and confirm the department needs. In addition, review of the existing building assessment, existing facilities, the Michigan Building Code and the existing drawings, WTA has developed the information contained herein.


Monitor Township contracted with Serenus Johnson to conduct this work. Serenus Johnson and WTA Architects have combined to provide a design-build team to provide the required services. The WTA Design Team consists of: WTA Architects (Saginaw, MI), MacMillan Associates (Bay City, MI), Rowe Professional Services (Mt. Pleasant, MI).


The 1954 original building consisted of the Vault, Storage, Treasurer Room, Men’s & Women’s Toilet Rooms, Vestibule, Check Room, Refreshment Room, Kitchen, half the Town Hall Room.  The masonry of the current Town Hall Room, half the current apparatus Room, and the Boiler Room.
The 1966 addition consisted of the other half of the current Apparatus Room and Upper Level Sleeping Rooms and Toilets.
The 1973 addition consisted of the current Small Vestibule, Lobby, Reception, Building Inspection, Copy Room, Supervisor, Clerk, Office, Vault and Lounge.
The 1990 addition consisted of the remainder of the Town Hall Room, Board Room and the Main Public Men’s & Women’s Toilet Rooms.  An original 1954 stage for the Town Hall Room was converted to an Office and a Voting Room.  A Storage Room was built above these rooms which is currently a gear room.


Our team reviewed the Owner provided February 6, 2019 Fire Station Facility Assessment by Sidock Group. In addition, our team visited the site on multiple occasions, documented the existing conditions and interviewed the building users. WTA is generally in agreement with the conditions assessment that was provided in the February 6th document provided.
In addition to the assessment of the February 6th document, WTA has made the recommendation to demolish the existing apparatus bay as part of the new design concept. The existing apparatus bay has many challenges with respect to the proposed addition/renovation work. Issues include a low ceiling height and structural complications in respect to the proposed new space, need of a roof replacement, poor concrete floor condition, existing floor drain system that will require remediation, as well as antiquated systems that will require complete replacement.
The Space Needs List dated February 4, 2020 was reviewed with the Township Board and Fire Department. Based on the approved Space Needs List, four bubble diagrams were presented to the board expressing various options on how to begin to solve the space issues, including the amount of new versus renovated area. Option 2A represented in the attached Programmatic Bubble Plan – Option 2A was approved by the board on February 13, 2020 for the design team to proceed with. The team and fire department staff visited both the Beaune Vista Fire Station and Birch Run Fire Station during which time discussed the pros and cons of each design as it would relate to Monitor Township. Conceptual floor plans were reviewed with the Fire Chief and refined by the design team. The attached Conceptual Space Diagram was presented at the March 12, 2020 board meeting and received board approval.


The removal of the existing apparatus bay and replacement with a new pre-engineered building allows for a more efficient layout of space for the new fire station. This new building will accommodate four new apparatus bays, with the fourth bay being dedicated for decontamination and maintenance. This design will allow the department to address hazardous conditions that require mitigation by current standards.
Additionally, the layout of the new space addresses the issue of controlling contamination. This is achieved though design layout and HVAC control. Occupied living and administrative spaces are buffered from the apparatus bay by a support zone. This support zone houses decontamination, laundry and work areas. Additionally, turnout gear, medical supplies and the radio room round out this space creating a support zone properly situated between the apparatus bay and occupied zones. Atop this space is a mezzanine level providing a space for training, new mechanical and electrical equipment, as well as much needed storage.
Occupied zones and the support spaces have been designed to provide efficient connections to the apparatus bay for optimal response times. Universal locker rooms, multiple single occupancy toilets, private showers and sleeping rooms provide a space that is accommodating and inclusive of all genders. A new community area will accommodate a new kitchen/dining/living space. A wellbeing room will be provided for physical fitness in the second-floor mezzanine.
A second pre-engineered building will be added to the north to house administrative offices, storage and a training room. The training room will be provided with technology required to support the education and training of personal based on todays requirement and adaptable for the future. The training room will be a multi-purpose space that can also accommodate and be used for other township programs or activities.


The original building mechanical systems were installed in 1954, additions and revisions to the systems were done in 1966, 1975 and 1990.
The gas service and meter are located on the southwest side of the building by the Apparatus Room.  The gas line serves the steam boiler and furnace in the Boiler Room.  The domestic water heater, a furnace in the Storage/Gear Room and two furnaces in the 1973 addition via the tunnel which extends from the Boiler Room.  The gas line also extends overhead to the Kitchen range hood.
The existing HVAC systems for the facility are a mixture of systems.  The original 1954 building and the 1966 addition were steam heat only.  A steam boiler supplied steam and condensate to an overhead air handling unit which serve the Town Hall.  Steam and condensate extended through and underfloor tunnel system which supplied perimeter steam radiation in the Treasurer Room, Men’s & Women’s Toilet Rooms, Vestibule, Check Room, Refreshment Room and Kitchen.  Steam and condensate also supplies steam unit heaters which heat the current Apparatus Bay.
The 1973 addition is heated and air conditioned by two gas fired split system furnaces with DX cooling and underfloor duct system.
The 1990 addition is heated and cooled by a gas fired split system furnace located in the Boiler Room.


The 1954 and 1966 revisions of the facility sanitary lines went to septic tanks and fields on the southeast and southwest sides of the building.  It is assumed that these were removed at some point and new sanitary line was extended to Midland Street.  The two apparatus bay catch basins are connected to storm lines along with the roof rain conductors.  These lines extend south to Midland Street.  A sewage ejector was added in 1966 to connect plumbing fixtures in this addition which discharges out the north end of the building.  The current washer/exterior is also connected to the sewage ejector.
The 1973 addition and the 1990 addition plumbing fixtures sanitary line both extend out the north end of the building towards 3 Mile Road.
A newer 199,999 BTUH gas water heater located in the Boiler Room currently provides the domestic hot water for the entire facility.  The facilities 2” water service and meter are located in the Boiler Room.  The hot and cold water is distributed to the plumbing fixtures throughout the building via an original 1954 building piping tunnel which extends from the lower level Boiler Room.


New trench drains and catch basins with heavy duty grating will be provided in each bay of the Apparatus Room and Maintenance/Wash Down Areas.  An outdoor Code required oil interceptor is proposed for the Maintenance/Wash Down Area.
New sanitary and vent system will be provided for the new toilets, showers, Janitor’s Closet, Laundry Room, Kitchen Mezzanine/Mechanical Room floor drains and Apparatus Room trench drains.  The new sanitary line is proposed to extend from the renovated area west towards the Apparatus Room and out the west side of the new addition.  The oil interceptor discharge is proposed to combine with the main sanitary and extend south towards Midland Road.
It is noted that the new renovations will require rework of the existing sanitary system and revisions could eliminate the need for the existing sewage ejector.  The existing washer/extractor which currently discharges into the sewage ejector.
New cold-water distribution will be provided from the existing 2” water service to the new kitchen sinks, toilet rooms, showers and laundry room.  Cold water will be extended to hose reels in the Apparatus Room and Wash Down/Maintenance Room.  Cold water drops will be provided for power washer and a 2” cold water line with hose reel will be provided for tanker fill.

New domestic hot water distribution is proposed to connect to the existing newer 199,999 BTUH gas water heater in the Boiler Room.  (NOTE: This will need to be evaluated to confirm it has enough capacity to meet entire buildings hot water needs.  A second water heater may need to be added and extend to the new kitchen sinks, toilet lavatories, showers, laundry room equipment and steam mixing valve in the Apparatus Room.
New gas piping is proposed to connect to the gas main in the Boiler Room and extend to the new kitchen range, makeup air unit for the Apparatus Room and Wash Down Area located in the new mezzanine and to the proposed radiant tube heaters located in the Apparatus Room and Wash Down Room.
It is noted that there are no plumbing requirements for the proposed Training and Office Addition.
The new HVAC system proposed for the renovated area and additions consists of two indoor air handling units with hot water heating and DX cooling located in the Mezzanine/Mechanical Room.  One unit will serve the Training Office Addition and the second unit will serve the renovated area.  Both systems will have variable frequency drives and supply via ductwork to variable air volume boxes with hot water reheat coils for zone temperature control.  Both systems will have connected return air duct systems, return air fans with variable frequency drives and full economizer (free cooling) capabilities.  Two air cooled condensing units will be located outside on roof.
An indirect gas fired 80/20 makeup air unit is proposed to provide outside air for the Apparatus Room and Wash Down Room.  This unit will be located in the Mezzanine and supply air via round exposed duct and registers at the peak of the apparatus room & wash down room.
A small gas direct fired makeup air unit is proposed to be on the roof of the new Kitchen to be interlocked with a new kitchen and room mounted exhaust fan.
The existing heating system is steam and a newer 1,170,000 BTUH existing steam boiler looks to be capable of providing enough heat for the existing building, the renovated area and the Office Training addition.  The new heating system proposed as Base Bid would be to install a new steam to hot water heat transfer package with pumps located in the Boiler Room or new Mezzanine to provide hot water heating for the proposed new air handling units and the VAV reheat coils.
A recommendation would be to analyze the existing steam boiler system components and potentially change the entire existing and new heating systems to high efficiency condensing hot water boiler system to save energy and eliminate the need for the steam to hot water heat transfer package.
The heating system proposed for the Apparatus Room and Wash Down Maintenance Room is proposed to be overhead radiant tube heaters.
The Exhaust Room and Wash Down Maintenance Room is proposed to be overhead radiant tube heaters.
The exhaust system proposed for the Apparatus Room is a combination of overhead vehicle exhaust rails systems that are fire truck cab controlled and general exhaust systems that exhaust down low near the floor.
Temperature controls for the renovated area and new addition would be direct digital controls with open protocol BacNet capabilities.  The exhaust and makeup air systems for the Apparatus Room and Wash Down/Maintenance Room would be controlled by gas monitoring and detection system to control the exhaust systems, space pressure and temperature control to control the 80/20 makeup air unit.


The existing building is served by two electrical services.

1.    3 Phase Service:
One service is an appx 100 amp 3 phase service overhead service on the west side of the building.  The 3 phase service is not backed up by the generator.  This service feeds a 3 phase panel in the boiler room.  The dryer, breathing apparatus air compressor and power washer are fed from the 3 phase service.
2.    1 Phase Service:
The second service is a 400 amp 120/240 volt single phase service overhead service on the west side of the building.  This service feeds an exterior mounted Generac brand Automatic Transfer Switch which is fed from a 48 kw diesel Generac Generator.  The load side of the ATS extends underground to the original 1954 vintage MDP.  The 1954 MDP and some of the associated distribution panel are well past their useful life and need to be replaced.

New Addition:

The new Apparatus Room and Training Addition will interfere with the existing overhead electrical services and existing generator locations.  Furnish and install a new 600 Amp 120/240 volt electrical service to replace the existing along with a new 200 Amp 240 volt 3 phase service.  We do not expect the existing 48 kw generator to be large enough to feed the new addition.  That being said an electrician should be hired to perform a 30 day load test to confirm the existing loading.  For the time being a new 100 kw diesel generator should be planned with associated 400 amp automatic transfer switch to serve the existing and new addition spaces.
The existing MDP and branch distribution panels in the existing electrical room shall be replaced with new.  New branch electrical panels shall be installed in the new addition.


•    Apparatus Bay Addition
o    Pre-engineered metal building
o    Cast in place concrete foundations for metal building columns.
o    Masonry foundation wall around perimeter
o    Pre-engineered wall girt to be designed to resist wind load from above grade masonry wall.
o    Mezzanine floor to consist of precast plank system with topping as determined during design. Floor system to be supported by load bearing 8” CMU.
o    End wall adjacent to existing will be constructed utilizing light gage framing infill construction in lieu of PEMB end wall/wind columns.
•    North Admin/Training Addition
•    Sleeping area within existing space
o    Rework of existing north wall structure to accommodate new wall construction.
o    Rework of existing roof framing as required to accommodate floor plan and new construction.
•    North entrance vestibule/public lobby
o    Conventional framing consisting of steel columns/beams to accommodate architectural design. Light gauge options may be considered as design progresses.
•    Corridor between North Admin and Existing
o    Pre-engineered metal building construction to be part of the north admin/training addition.
o    Alternately, conventional structural steel construction will be considered during design in order to better accommodate existing conditions at tie-in to existing structure.


•    Exterior Walls
o    Pre-Engineered 8” CMU up 5’-0”; Above – Insulated Metal Wall Panel (2.75 to 3”)
§    Insulation R-19 c.i.
•    Exterior Windows
o    Aluminum Storefront Framing with 1” insulated glazing
o    Kalwall as indicated on model.
•    Exterior Doors
o    FRP/Aluminum Hybrid (Special-Lite)
o    Overhead doors to be aluminum sectional rail and stile door (Raynor; AlumaView AV300)
•    Roof Coverings
o    Metal at all sloped roofs
o    Insulation: R-19 + R-11 liners or R-25 + R-8 liners
o    90 mil. EPDM at flat roofs


•    Partitions
o    Apparatus Bay and Support Areas will be 8” block walls extending from floor to underside of structure above. Finish to be painted with block fill primer and epoxy paint topcoat.
o    Administrative and Living Areas will be 3 5/8” metal stud walls with 5/8” type “X” gyp. bd. on both sides. Stud cavity to be filled with sound attenuation batts. Finish to be painted, 1 coat primer, 2 coats paint.
o    3-hour Fire Wall:
§    Opposite existing CMU wall:
•    Option 1: 8” CMU wall supporting mezzanine floor and extending to structure above.
•    Option 2: Shaft Wall design: U415 System A; 1 layer of 5/8” type “X” gyp. bd.,
o    2-    1/2” C-H Studs, 1” gyp. liner panel.
§    New Wall Construction:
•    Option 1: 8” CMU wall supporting mezzanine floor and extending to structure above. Opposite side to be 3 5/8” metal studs with 5/8” type “X” gyp. bd.
•    Option 2: W454; 5/8″ type “X” gyp. bd. on both sides of 3-5/8″ steel studs in two rows separated by 2” H-studs with (2) 1” liner panels.
•    Interior Doors
o    Apparatus Bay and Support Area: Hollow metal doors and frames.
o    Administrative and Living Areas: Solid core wood doors with wood veneer in hollow metal frames.
•    Fittings
o    Single occupancy toilet room accessories.
§    Grab bars (one ADA accessible toilet room)
§    Toilet paper holders
§    Paper towel dispensers
§    Robe hooks
§    Frameless mirrors
§    Trash receptacles (owner supplied)
o    Shower units
§    Robe/towel hooks
§    Grab bars (one ADA accessible shower room)
•    Stair Construction
o    Steel pan, concrete filled with rubber treads and risers.
•    Floor Finishes
o    Apparatus Bay and Support Area: Concrete floor with densifier and polished concrete finish (equal to Retroplate).
o    Administrative and Living Areas:
§    Porcelain Tile: Showers, toilets, Lobby
§    Carpet tile: Offices, Training, Bunk, Living, vestibule
§    LVT: Corridors, Locker Room, Storage, Laundry
•    Ceiling Finishes
o    Painted Structure: Apparatus Bay, Mezzanine
o    Painted gyp. bd.: Support Spaces, showers
o    SAT (2×2): Office area, Training, Living areas, toilet, Locker Room

•    Water closets – Floor mounted with hard wired sensor flush valves, low consumption type with plastic seats.
•    Lavatories – Wall-hung vitreous china with grid strainer and single level mixing faucet with hard wired sensors. Anti-scald mixing device for ADA compliance.
•    Sinks – Single and double compartment stainless steel sink with strainer and single lever mixing faucet and garbage disposal in Kitchen.
•    Service sink – Fiberglass floor-mounted sink with drain. Faucet with vacuum breaker and hose.
•    Water cooler – Surface-mounted, self-contained electric high-low water cooler for barrier free access, with bottle filling station. Water cooler is to include a canister inline filter or filter integral with the unit.
•    Refrigerator hook-ups for cold water connections for icemakers. (Refrigerators themselves are considered FFE and are to be included in the package of others).
•    Floor drains in Toilet Rooms. Floor drains to include trap primers or plumbing inspector approved grommet device.  Trench drains with catch basins and heavy duty gauges for apparatus bay and wash bay.
•    Exterior wall hydrants (hose bibs). Non-freeze exterior hydrants.
•    New water service piping.
o    Existing domestic water meter will be used.
o    New domestic hot water and cold water will be provided throughout the new additions and renovated areas.
•    New sanitary will be extended to the sewage lines (by civil trade).
•    New gas piping is to be extended from existing gas meter to the new equipment.
•    Gas-fired water heater for Toilet Rooms and Kitchen (reused).
•    New storm system will be provided for the new additions
•    Compressed air drops with hose reel in the Apparatus Bay with air compressor located in new mezzanine.
•    New outdoor oil interceptor for maintenance Wash Down area.
•    The HVAC system for the new addition will consist of indoor air handling units with hot water heat and DX cooling located in the mezzanine.
•    Heating for the Apparatus and Maintenance Bays will consist of gas fired infra-red heaters and CO monitored emergency exhaust system.
•    New 80/20 make-up air unit located in Mezzanine Mechanical room.
•    The new addition and renovated areas to be zoned by variable air volume air terminal units with hot water heating coils and temperature sensors controlled by building automation system.
•    Exhaust fans will be provided for the following areas:
o    Apparatus Room – Cab controlled vehicle exhaust rail system and general exhaust.
o    Custodial/Janitor Closet.
•    An Office HVAC system will have ducted supply, return, and exhaust, including diffusers and grilles.
•    HVAC systems to meet the 2015 State of Michigan Mechanical Code and State of Michigan Energy Code ASHRAE 90.1-2013.

•    Utility
o    Remove existing electrical services on the exterior west wall of the existing Apparatus Room.
o    Provide a new 600 amp 120/240-volt single phase electrical service.
o    Replace the existing 400 amp 120/240-volt main distribution panel in the Boiler Room with a new 600 amp panel.
o    Provide a new 200 amp 240 volt 3 phase electrical service.
o    Refeed the existing 3 phase electrical panel in the Boiler Room with a new 200 amp 3 phase feed.
•    Generator
o    Provide a new 100kw 120/240-volt single phase diesel generator and associated ATS.

•    Wash-Down Bay
o    Provide LED vapor tight lighting with motion sensor controls and emergency egress lighting via internal batteries.
•    Apparatus Rm.
o    Provide LED high bay lighting with motion sensor controls and emergency egress lighting via internal batteries.
•    Apparatus Room Support Rooms
o    Provide LED surface mounted strip lighting with motion sensor controls.
•    Bunk/Shower/Kitchen and Corridor
o    Provide recessed LED down lights with dimmer controls and emergency egress lighting via internal battery packs.

We have developed a project schedule that focuses on two major categories. These categories are described below.

The Administrative category focuses on the upfront activities that have the potential to greatly affect the project as a whole. Knowing and identifying the critical tasks within can further aid us in pin-pointing the areas to best exert our team’s energy towards getting the project started in the field. The timeline within this category begins with the August 2020 bond vote and subsequent award, then lists all critical steps through the final design period, then onto subcontract generation.
We have selected numerous high-level milestones within this category that can provide a quick reference to critical dates which drives the project completion at the top of the schedule document. Another important step considered within this schedule is the long-lead material time frames for critical components. The field installation tasks found deeper into the schedule document are linked to these identified long-lead durations that further promote schedule accuracy which grants greater confidence with the contractors performing the installations.


The second category focuses on the numerous and complex list of field installations dictated by the final design. Each task within this category has been separated into two phases.
Phase One allows the fire station to remain in operation while three western bays of the new pre-engineered structure is constructed. A weather barrier will be constructed at the east end of the third apparatus bay to accommodate Phase Two activities. Once complete, the fire station and its most critical components will occupy this new space. Once the existing facility is vacated, Phase Two will begin. Within this preliminary construction schedule, Phase One will be on January 7th, 2021 and complete around August 25th, 2021.
Phase Two will consist of removing the existing apparatus bay, kitchen and sleeping quarters before starting the new office addition. During this phase, the fourth apparatus bay will be constructed which also includes the new service areas and mezzanine space. The new parking lot and concrete approaches will also be completed during this timeframe. Within this preliminary construction schedule, Phase Two will begin on August 19th, 2021 and complete around February 23rd, 2022.
The goal of our construction schedule is to ensure that all activities are coordinated in a precise and delicate nature to confirm that the completed installations are protected while making certain each minute spent on site is productive toward reaching our main completion goal.

Engaging with Chief Kramer and his team as we visited surrounding fire departments to explore different design styles and features allowed us to best understand the needs of the Monitor Township Fire Department needs. The created conceptual design captures this knowledge that is further reflected in our construction budget. Board guidance during the early design stages was very valuable. As a result of our corporate engagement, our team is confident that the conceptual design package fulfilled, will meet the current and growing needs of the fire station.
The construction budget listed below was generated based on the completed conceptual design package. Our budget includes all construction related components required to deliver the building structures that closely mirrors the conceptual design.

  •      Demolition Cost: $185,000.00
  •      Construction & Site Cost: $3,955,080.00
  •      Design Fee (6.25% of Construction & Site Cost): $247,192.00
  •      Management Fee (4.5% of Total Design & Construction Cost): $197,428.00
  •      Total Design / Build Budget:  $4,584,700.00

The following allowances have been estimated and are incorporated within the budget:

  •      Testing – $15,000.000
  •      Temporary Electrical Service – $8,500.00
  •      Utility Service Fee – $35,000.00
  •      Landscaping – $15,000.00
  •      Kitchen Equipment- $50,000.00
  •      Soft Costs: $150,0000.00
  •           Shelving / Racking
  •           Special Equipment (e.g., mezzanine lift, etc.)
  •           Laundry Equipment
  •           Office Furniture
  •           Data / IT Systems
  •           AV Systems
  •           Security System
  •      Bond Costs: $135,000.00
  • Total Project Cost – $4,869,700.00

The following items will require further support from Monitor Township and are not included within the budget:

  •      Builders Risk Insurance
  •      Asbestos Abatement
  •      Construction Contingency Allowance
  •      Utility Usage Fees

REVISED 7/10/2020

Q: Were the committee meetings open to the public?
A: Yes, all meetings were open to the public and the committee members were all advised of this.

Q: Who chaired the meetings?

A: Larry Ramseyer, retired from Delta College, was chosen by the group to be the Chairman.

Q: How was the feasibility study company determined?

A: After several meetings and interviews with several companies who had expertise in building fire stations, the Sidock Group was chosen. They presented their program and findings to the committee The committee as presented with three options:

1: Do nothing at all
2: Remodel and add on to the existing building
3: Build a completely new building

Q: What were the two options presented to the committee?

A: Option #1: Remodel and add on to the West of the building. The estimated cost was $5,372,933.00
Option #2: Build a completely new fire station either on the site or a new site, estimated at $6,039,642.00.
It is important to understand that the Sidock Company advised the committee and the township board that their numbers were only an estimate and that they are higher than the actual cost. The actual cost could not be determined until a design & build plan was completed for exact costs.

Q: What decision did the committee make and how did they come to making this decision?

A: After the Sidock Company’s report and proposals were presented to the committee, the committee had several more meetings held to discuss the findings and determine the best option to go with to obtain the following:

1. A functional fire station
2. A fire station that was up to current codes, both fire and building
3. A fire station that would serve the purpose and responsibilities to our community
4. Reduce Response Time
5. Save the Township money

After careful consideration and discussion on all the above issues, the committee agreed to send their recommendation to the board, along with the feasibility study and its findings which support the remodel and add-on to the current building (Option #1). It was fully understood that the board could accept either one of the proposals, if they chose. This was a complete vote and acceptance of the entire committee. The fact-finding committee had completed their job and turned their findings over to the board members.

Q: How old is the current fire department?

A: The building was built in 1955. In 1966, the addition consisted of the other half of the current Apparatus Room and upper level sleeping rooms & toilets. There have been no additions or upgrades to the Fire Department, other than repairs to existing roofs and the boiler since.

Q: Why do we need to remodel & expand our current Fire Department facility?

A: As the years have gone by, the fire service and equipment has evolved and grown. Fire trucks are much bigger (almost twice the size of the original trucks), the fire station is not up to current building, electrical and fire codes. We are not compliant with the American Disability Act. We have outgrown the capacity and use of this station.

Q: Has anything been done to the building to attempt to keep it functional?

A: Yes! We have replaced the boiler and we have replaced & repaired the roof. We have also widened the apparatus bay doors as wide & tall as we can! We only have 3 inches of space to get the trucks out the doors. There is less than three feet between each truck to do work or clean them in the apparatus bay.

Q: Have these problems with the facility been neglected and ignored?

A: No! These issues have been addressed each time they occur. You can only do so much with a 1955 system. It is not designed or capable of handling today’s issues.

Q: There has been talk of a problem with the drain system in the apparatus bay flooding?

A: This is true.  The system is not up to date and cannot handle the surge from rain and down pours. This has been investigated and cleaned out several times. They back up into the station, which in turn, floods the entire apparatus floor area. When this happens, all equipment and trucks need to be cleaned, due to the unsanitary water on them.

Q: When was the question brought before the board for a new fire station?

A: In 2006, the Fire Chief brought it to the attention oft he board members that the need for a new or upgrade/add-on project for the current station needed to be addressed In 2017, the current board determined that this was a project that needed serious consideration due to the age & condition of the current station.

Q: What did the board do to begin the research on a new fire station project?

A: In July 2017, under the direction of the Township Supervisor and the Fire Chief, a search for a fact-finding committee began. It was advertised on the Township website and the front sign.

Q: How was the committee chosen and what procedures were taken?

A: The committee was composed of 4-fire department representatives, including the Fire Chief, three board members, and six members of the public with various backgrounds and desire to be involved in the community. Applications were reviewed and chosen for the committee.

Q: Was any information located about a possible millage and the cost to the taxpayer?

A: Yes! An example millage was requested by the Fire Chief to the Township Supervisor to see if these two projects could be funded by a millage vote under one mill. This was completed by Bendzinski & Co, municipal finance advisors. Their example showed that this project could be done for less than one mill. This was done for informational purposes only.

Q: When and how was the decision made to hire the current Design/Build company?

A: Once the board decided that “To do nothing,” was not an option, they began a search for a local area company to do a Design & Build to move the project to the next phase. These meetings and decisions were made at Township Board Meetings, open to the public. After reviewing three local companies and their credentials and experience, Serenus Johnson was chosen. They are a Monitor Township business.

Q: What will the cost of the millage be for residents?

A: The average household cost, based on a taxable value of $68,000.00, is $3.80 per month.

Based on the average home value in Monitor Township, $150,000
Assessed Value : $75,000
Taxable Value: $68,000
Taxable value divided by 1000=$68.00
$68.00 x .67 (millage rate) = $45.56
$45.66/12=$3.80 per month for 20 years.

Welcome and hello from Chief Kramer and your fire department members.  This has been a tough time for all of us with the COVID-19 pandemic, rain and flooding.  Your fire department has been working diligently to serve and be prepared for any and all issues that arise, and we are prepared to handle them.  My staff is staying safe and healthy.

When I became fire chief in 2006, one of my goals was to research and look at updating our current fire station.  With the fire service growing, equipment getting larger and wider, and the stability of the structure and its outdated condition, something needs to be done.  I put it on my five year plan that was presented to our board and kept it there to keep this from eventually being overlooked until something bad happened.  I am a proactive fire chief and I do not wait until things happen and then try and fix it.

Monitor Township Fire Station Facts:

The original structure was built in 1955 and the last major fire department building update was in 1966. This is when they added the additional two apparatus bays and the upper level sleeping rooms and toilets. When the Monitor Township Fire Department began, it was solely staffed by volunteers. Today we employ 5 full time firefighters and 35 part time paid firefighters.  We have three fire trucks, a rescue vehicle and a brush truck.

Being over 50 years old, many aspects of the current facility do not meet current codes and regulations, including the latest building codes, NFPA and fire-safety codes, and ADA and barrier-free requirements. To update a portion of the fire station would require the rest of the station to be updated to current fire codes and compliance with current building codes.

There are issues such as a leaking roof with water coming in through light fixtures, inadequate drain system, apparatus doors not wide or tall enough for the new style fire trucks, they are 30 years old and do not seal, which wastes money in winter, and many more things going on.  This does not mean that we just sat back and allowed this to go unchecked.  We have repaired and attempted to fix these issues several times, but you can only fix it until it is non repairable. This is where we are today.  We have over 3 million dollars’ worth of equipment in this building and part of my job to keep them safe and always ready to go, at a moment’s notice.

This structure was built to provide service to Monitor Township’s 1955 population of 6,568 people (per  By 2019, the population had grown to over 10,400 people (per The station’s run volume has drastically increased over the years.  Here are some of the records:

1962 –   46 runs a year

1970 –   82 runs a year

1980 –  206 runs a year

1990 –  445 runs a year

2000 –  683 runs a year

2010 –   847 runs a year

2019 –  1232 runs a year

So you can see that our run volume has increased and continues to increase each year.

The station continues to be set in an ideal location, which is close to the customer base and allows for a quicker response time in emergencies.  I researched the run calls and types of runs we have handled in our community and after completing this research it was determined that our location is where it needs to be in order to handle the run volume and meet the quick response time.  Please remember that our community ISO ratings are as low as they are going to get 5/9 which helps your insurance.  If we relocated to different location this would change everybody’s ISO rating and would affect your rates.

We have been working on this project since 2017 and have been involving the community in our research and with moving this project forward.  We have come to the point that we need to allow the community to vote and determine if we can move forward and complete the project.

We are planning to have an open house for the residents to come see the building and ask questions before the election.  Due to the COVID-19 issue and the Governor’s EO, we have not set a date and time for this but we will keep you up to date on the Township website and the Fire Department website.  You are more than welcome to stop into the fire station and visit and take a look for yourself.  We have to keep it under 10 people at a time.  We will follow the Governor’s EO.

I have fielded a lot of questions and concerns from the community members and would like to present this to you this way.  We will never see the interest rates this low, once the state opens back up completely and the economy begins to rise.  If this project waits for another two years to put it on the ballot then the costs obviously will increase for both the materials and interest rates.

One of the biggest questions is how much will this cost me?  For example only, we took the average home value in Monitor Twp. at $150,000.  You then have an assessed value of say $90,000.00.  You now need to find your taxable value which say is $68,000.00. You divide the taxable value by 1000 which gives you $68.00.  You multiply that by .67 (millage rate) which equals $45.56. Divide that by 12 and you get $3.80 per month for 20 years.  That is what you will pay per month for this millage for an average home in Monitor Township.  As true with any loan there is an interest rate.  Currently we are at projecting a 3% interest rate.

I hope that you will take a look at the figures, take your time and get all your questions answered by either calling, stopping by or going to the web site listed below where there will be more information available to help you decide in August.  The fire fighters of Monitor Township hope you have a safe summer. Please practice safe fire habits. We are always here and welcome you to come visit.


Chief John Kramer
Monitor Township Fire Department



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