A Springettsbury Township fire station might close more than a year before construction of a replacement station is expected to be completed.
The 3013 E. Market St. Springettsbury Township Fire Station is expected to close as soon as April, pending its sale, said Robert McCoy of York Area United Fire & Rescue.
The new station is expected to be finished in the summer of 2014.
In the meantime, firefighters and apparatus housed at the current station will likely be moved to another York Area United station, he said.
However, a township official said emergency services won't be affected by the closing.
"There won't be any disruption in service," said John Holman, township manager.
The fire station, owned by the township's volunteer firefighters association, will close once the sale of the property is finalized.
Temporary housing: Construction of the new station on Commons Drive is expected to get under way sometime in June and could take about a year to complete, McCoy said.
"In a perfect world, we'd keep the firehouse open until the new one is built," he said. "This is something we'll have to deal with."
Department officials are taking steps to make sure that a fire truck and a crew will be in the eastern
part of the township during daytime hours after the current station shutters.
McCoy said he hopes to have a fire truck in the eastern part of the township as firefighters perform inspections and fire prevention tasks. Another option is to work with businesses to create a "portable fire station."
But at night, the truck, and the two firefighters who man it each 24-hour shift, will likely be housed at one of the department's three other stations.
One station, the Victory Fire Station at 421 Wheaton St. in Spring Garden Township, is about two miles from the East Market Street station.
York Area United also manages the township's ambulance service, which is stationed at the East Market Street station.
Medical services have to remain in the township and could be housed at the Commonwealth Fire Station at 2045 N. Sherman St. or at a township facility, McCoy said.
"We're doing a lot of planning," he said.
New station: Once complete, the new station will also serve as the headquarters of York Area United, currently located at 3321 Whiteford Road.
The two-story station will boast the usual bunkrooms, locker rooms, kitchen and day room found in most fire stations.
It will also feature drive-through bays for apparatus, a fitness room and a multi-purpose room, according to the plans.
The upper floor is where the department's headquarters will be located, and offices for the volunteer association will be on the first floor, along with the living quarters and amenities for firefighters.
Ambulance service will also be housed in the new station.
"We're hoping this station will last us at least another 50 years," said Holman said.
Cost: The project, which is still in the engineering phase, is expected to cost an estimated $4 million. As part of its 2013 budget, the township set aside $2.75 million to pay for its portion of the project.
The lot where the new station will be situated was purchased by the township's volunteer firefighters association.
Firefighters are also fundraising for the project, and the sale of the current East Market Street station will help defray costs.
Holman said the station, situated on a 2-acre lot, is "under an agreement of sale" with a business.
The property was listed on the commercial real estate website loopnet.com with an asking price of $2.05 million.
Improved service: With the construction of the new station, there are no plans to close the Commonwealth station.
The new station will be in the eastern end of the township, decreasing response times to that part of the township.
"We're looking forward to improving the service we provide to our residents," Holman said.
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Second new station?
The Springettsbury Township Fire Station could be one of two new stations in York Area United Fire & Rescue's coverage area to built in the coming years.
Spring Garden Township officials are entertaining the possibility of building a new station at a proposed municipal complex along Mount Rose Avenue near the Interstate 83 interchange.
If built, the station would replace the Victory Fire Station at 421 Wheaton St. That station would be turned into the public works building.
"We're looking at fire stations from a regional perspective," said Chief Robert McCoy of York Area United.
The proposed fire station is expected to cost between $2.2 million and $2.6 million. That is included in the cost for the overall project, which could cost up to $23.3 million.
Gregory Maust, Spring Garden Township manager, said commissioners have not yet acted on the project.
"We don't have anything definitive from the board on their wishes on developing the project," he said.