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Gravel co. donates land for future fire station



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December 16, 2009 - If Oxford Township ever needs to build a third fire station, it's already got a spot picked out and the land donated.

Supervisor Bill Dunn was pleased to announce that the Detroit-based Edward C. Levy Company agreed to give the township approximately 2.5 acres of vacant property on the west side of M-24, just north of Metamora Road.

"What a great Christmas present for the people of Oxford," he said. "Everybody should send Levy a 'thank you' card."

The Levy Company owns American Aggregates of Michigan, which has gravel mining operations throughout the township.

Fire Chief Pete Scholz was pretty excited about the news.

"I think it's fantastic," he said. "Former Chief (Jack) LeRoy wrote numerous letters back and forth to the Levy Company expressing interest and the need for a station up on the north end of the township."

Representatives from Levy recently sat down with Dunn, Scholz and Treasurer Joe Ferrari to hammer out a plan to make it happen.

"We had a meeting with them and they pretty much gave us a choice of 3,200 acres as far as where to put it. That's the best location that we could come up with," Scholz explained.

Scholz indicated that at some point in the future, a fire station will eventually be needed in the northern end "based on the potential growth of that area" once the gravel pit property is developed for residential use.

He stressed a fire station will only be built in the northern end if and when one is needed.

"It's all going to be driven by the growth up in that area," Scholz said. "I would say right now, you're not going to see anything for probably five to 10 years. But if the economy hopefully picks up again and the area starts to be developed, that would be our next move."

"This is something for the future," Dunn noted. "Us getting the land now doesn't mean we're automatically going to build a station anytime soon. We haven't got the money and we're not going ask the taxpayers for more, not when everybody's hurting."

A station in that location would be good news for residents living in northeasternmost part of the township.

According to Scholz, right now, residents in those two northeast sections are outside the 5-mile radius from the main station in downtown Oxford, which prevents them from a having a lower Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating and in turn, the possibility of reduced homeowners insurance premiums.

Constructing a station just north of M-24 and Metamora Road would put those two sections within five miles of a fire station, thus lowering their ISO rating and possibly their insurance payments.

But before the Levy donation can happen, the township planning commission must agree to a lot split that will separate the 2.5-acre piece from the rest of Levy's land.

Township officials agreed to have Giffels-Webster Engineers do the necessary survey work and legal descriptions, so the lot split request can go before the planning commission. The work will cost $7,000.

Dunn said the donation is another prime example of what a good and responsible corporate citizen the Levy Company has been to Oxford.

"Over the last eight years, they've donated thousands of tons of 21-AA crushed stone that's the really high quality stuff to resurface seven miles of our township roads including Newman, Stanton and Indian Lake," he said. "They've always been generous and never turned us down. Every government should be lucky enough to have a company like Levy doing business in their community."

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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