STRASBURG (WJER) (Feb. 28, 2022) – The village’s firefighters won’t be able to sleep over at the station as planned starting April 1st, but Mayor Steve Smith says they should still be able to deliver on their promise to voters in last year’s primary.
Smith says some unanticipated issues have delayed plans to convert the building’s social hall into a sleeping area for firefighters. However, he says the department’s new leader, Steven Laskey, is working on a plan to make sure calls don’t go unanswered, which could include extending shifts and having firefighters respond to nighttime emergencies from their homes.
“The new chief is trying to be creative with regard to how we can go about providing what we promised the people that would take effect starting April 1st when we start collecting these funds.”
Smith says before renovations can begin, they need to have the room reclassified as a dormitory.
“There are some guidelines and some things that were amiss, and some of it was converting that room from a social setting to a dormitory setting required some permits and licensing that was different from the current status of that room.”
The department set April 1st as the start date for 24-7 fire and EMS protection when it asked voters in the village and Franklin Township to approve the tax issue that’s paying for the additional coverage. Smith says the firefighters who developed the plan should have foreseen the permitting issue and brought it to the administration’s attention back then.