WEST ORANGE, NJ – With the aging of West Orange’s fire stations causing leakages and deterioration to both their interior and exterior, the West Orange Township Council passed a resolution on Tuesday authorizing the architectural and planning firm Herbst Musciano to provide architectural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing design services to improve and renovate three of the West Orange fire stations deemed most in need of repair. By a unanimous vote, the council authorized $111,938 for the firm to do this work.
Lenny Lepore, municipal engineer and director of public works, told the council that fire stations 3 and 4, which are each approximately 60 years old, need the most work. Lepore added that fire station 5, which is even older but was renovated 20 years ago, needs a new roof.
He said that fire stations 3 and 4 also need new roofs as well as windows, new brick outside the buildings to keep the elements out, and relatively minor inside work. He added that the priority for all three buildings is the roof improvement.
John Gross, chief financial officer, said that $700,000 in funds was authorized last year for the necessary improvements, which are estimated to take approximately 450 hours of work. Gross added that the township has saved $3,800 for the AC/heating improvements in fire station 5 thanks to an energy-saving grant it received for this purpose.
“I would like to do all the fire station facilities, but even doing these three will be a stretch given our tight budget,” said Lepore. “I selected the building improvements and renovations that need immediate attention.”
Councilman Joe Krakoviak said he wants to take another look at the draft of this year’s capital budget to see if there is a way to increase the funding for fire station renovation.
“Renovating the fire stations is a priority,” he said. “It deals with the safety of the township’s citizens. We might want to consider increasing the funds in this area instead of building the skate park or the parking lot in the Pleasantdale area.”
Gross said the draft of the capital budget will be submitted to the council soon.
The next council meeting will be held on May 8.