At this week’s Township Board meeting, the agenda included a presentation by Peninsula Fire Chief Fred Gilstorff regarding Fire Station 3, proposed for the north end of the Old Mission Peninsula. This would be in addition to the two fire stations currently on the Peninsula.
As mentioned at a Township Board meeting last fall, a station on the north end would not only provide faster fire and emergency care to residents in that area, but it would also help to improve the fire department’s ISO (Insurance Service Office) rating, which would result in better insurance premiums for homeowners in the area.
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Last fall, the Township Board and Fire Department were considering restoring a Township-owned building next to the American Legion Hall for Station 3. However, along with concerns over increased traffic congestion around Haserot Beach, it was decided that the required restoration would be too extensive to bring it up to code for a fire station.
The Board and Fire Department are now looking for a parcel of land on the north end of the Peninsula to be used for a non-staffed Fire Station 3 that would house one fire truck. Per the ISO representative, the ideal land would be located on or within a half-mile east or west of Center Road, from north of Tompkins Road to south of Swaney Road.
Gilstorff said this is the prime area they’re looking at, “however, anything in that general area would also suffice as far as being able to reach residents within five road miles.”
Township Supervisor Rob Manigold added that they’re looking for two to five acres in that area that is not deed restricted or in the Purchase of Development Rights program.
“Ideally, Center Road would be the prime choice,” said Manigold. “A flat piece of ground where we wouldn’t have to remove trees and could move forward with the proposal. If anybody in that area has some property and wouldn’t mind donating or selling us two to five acres, we could probably offer some tax incentives and go from there.”
More specifics are included in the following letter drafted by Peninsula Township.
March 18, 2019
Peninsula Township and the Peninsula Township Fire Department would like to establish a fire station in the northernmost section of the township in order to provide improved and timely service to residents in this area. This proposed new station would be non staffed and would house one fire truck. When emergencies occur, paid on-call firefighters who live in the area would be able to swiftly respond.
The consultant has identified the ideal area for the station as the vicinity of Swaney Road to Tompkins Road just north of the village of Old Mission. We are writing today to ask landowners within this ideal section if they would be willing to sell or donate two to five acres of land on which to build this station.
This land cannot be deed restricted and would ideally be accessed by a hard surface road. When the department currently responds to an emergency in the northernmost section of the township, it can take a full 15 minutes of driving time to reach the target location.
Because the closest fire station is located more than five road miles from homes in this section of the township, Insurance Services Office, the organization that rates every fire department in the nation, gives this section of the township the worst possible rating, a 10 on a 1 to 10 scale.
Accordingly, insurance companies typically charge higher rates for property protection to those who live in this area. It is the township’s and fire department’s shared goal to protect all the residents of the township equally with great service. Establishing a fire station in the northernmost section would allow us to provide comparable high-quality service to residents in this area.
If you are able to help us secure appropriate land on which to place this fire station, please email Township Supervisor Rob Manigold at [email protected], or call him at (231) 223-7323.
Rob Manigold, Supervisor
Fred Gilstorff, Fire Chief
A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers like the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, and magazines like Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So of course, I started my own newspaper. Because the Gazette is mainly reader-supported, I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks my way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the Old Mission Peninsula. Check out the donation page here. Thank you so much for your support. -jb