By Felicia A. Petro/Senior Reporter
GROVE CITY —
Now that Grove City firefighters have a new home, the old one has been sold.
The old fire station – which has served a number of purposes over the years – was approved for purchase by borough council on Monday evening for a high bid of $87,500 -- more than $22,000 more than what was estimated by the borough’s realtors.
“We wanted to make sure we got it,” said Ken Frenchak, manager for Valvoline Express Care and Car Wash across the street from the old fire house, located at 146 N. Broad St.
Frenchak has attended council meetings for months, regarding the building for his boss, Robb Ritenour, an entrepreneur from Butler who purchased Valvoline in May from Millham Enterprises, which owned it for years.
Bevan FLP, owned by Evan Lowe, a local rental property developer, and member of the Grove City Zoning Hearing Board, gave the low bid of $25,000 for the fire house.
The fire department has moved into its new station on Pine Street, where the police department was expanded to accommodate the firefighters. The $1.75 million renovation also included a training tower for firefighters, as well as new lockers and firing range for police.
The old fire station has a garage, office, small kitchen and gravel parking.
Frenchak said the garage will be used to store supplies for the lube and car wash and the office space will be used as an office since the shop doesn’t have one.
The old fire house will receive “minor modifications inside and outside,” he added.
The sale price on the building was good news for the borough, which is finalizing its proposed budget that received criticism last week because it included cutting a police officer. Council members were looking for ways to offset an unexpected $155,000 shortfall in the budget, which also included a proposed tax increase of one mill.
Council listened to concerns at a meeting on Nov. 12 that drew a full house of police officers, firefighters, borough workers and citizens, who were looking for other ways to make up for the $155,000. The sale of the old fire house was one, which had then been estimated at $65,000.
Council also put on hold a vote on Monday to approve the proposed budget, so the Finance Committee could meet last night and figure out ways to bring in revenue in order to keep the patrolman and pay other expenses.
However, the budget must be advertised and approved by the December meeting, said Vance Oakes, borough manager.
Council approved the sale of surplus borough vehicles on Monday, which brought in over $30,000. They included the truck portion of a 1981 tanker; the bed and pumper was sold for scrap on the vehicle and council also approved the sale of its tank separately on Monday.
Other vehicles sold included a 2001 pickup with tool-box bed; 1999 dump truck; 2002 pickup with plow and lift gate; and a 2002 sedan once used by police that no longer worked.
The surplus list also had an electronic cash register, which received a high bid of $15, but council instead decided to donate it to the Grove City Community Food Pantry.
Published Nov. 20, 2013, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St.