Cannon Township approves fire barn expansion

A healthy bid environment—depending on which side of the bid you are—allowed Cannon Township to choose a local builder to expand the fire station at less cost than expected. Nugent Builders was chosen for an expansion expected to serve the township’s needs for the next 20-plus years, according to Township Supervisor Peter MacGregor. The township fire department has been building a fund for the improvement for the past 14 years and will pay for the project with cash in hand.

“We aren’t going into debt; we aren’t putting out bonds,” MacGregor said.

MacGregor said he doesn’t want township residents to consider the move a frivolous one in light of tight budgets everywhere. “The motivation behind this is we can’t put another fire truck in our existing facilities,” he stated. “We have a vintage 1980 fire barn, but need to buy another truck in two to three years.”

MacGregor said township officials expected the bid to come in around a million and a quarter, but Nugent and two other local builders came in at much lower than expected. Nugent bid $1,025,000. Visser and Visser and Rockford Construction were the next two lowest bidders for the job. MacGregor said the township has a policy of using local contractors whenever possible. Originally 12 contractors were pre-approved to submit the bids.

The fire station will be expanded from two “tiny” bays to three large bays and the existing station will benefit from some remodeling to be more efficient.

MacGregor said he considers this a win-win situation that residents should be pleased with on three counts. “It’s a win for the fire department, which has been saving their money for fourteen years,” he stated. “It’s a win because of the good bid environment and it’s a win because we wanted a local builder with local subcontractors to do the job.”

MacGregor believes taxpayers should congratulate the township on saving up money for the project and waiting for a good environment in which to solicit the work.

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