Plans for Central Fire Station continue despite neighborhood controversy

By Samantha VanHoef
The Meridian Times

After years of lawsuits and court rulings, plans for the Central Fire Station construction are moving forward. The Meridian Township project has been on hold since 2012 after residents of the neighboring condominium complex sued the township in hopes of receiving a court order to stop progress on the site. “Now we’re waiting for the Michigan Supreme Court,” Meridian Township Treasurer Julie Brixie said. “The (condominium residents) have appealed the decision, but we have won all the way up and we’re waiting for the Supreme Court to reject it.”

Although there has not been an answer from the Michigan Supreme Court, the project is allowed to move forward because the court order to stop any progress was not granted to the residents of Autumn Park condominiums.

“When I arrived here to be the fire chief in 1998, some of the first things I looked at were equipment, the chain of command and the fire station replacement as one of the top priorities,” Fire Chief Fred Cowper said. “So we now have put a lot of work and effort in making that happen.”

The new Central Fire Station will be at the corner of Okemos Road and Central Park Drive, and includes space for the fire department’s administrative offices, new living areas for firefighters and will be up to “green” standards.