Cortland Fire Department asks voters to say yes to levy funding improvements

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"These issues aren't gonna go away. I'm always gonna need to replace fire truck. I'm always going to need to replace ambulances," said the chief

CORTLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – The Cortland Fire Department in Trumbull County is asking voters to say yes to a levy that would fund some much-needed improvements.

“This station was never meant for full-time personnel,” said Chief David Rea of the Cortland Fire Department.

The Cortland Fire Station needs some improvements.

Two of the bays were built in 1949, along with its infrastructure.

“The water pipes, the sewage pipes and all that have been in the ground since then, so if we’ve got to replace those pipes, which we’ve had some issues with them, we gotta start tearing out concrete and tearing out flooring in our living quarters,” Rea said.

Rea says the station wasn’t built to have firefighters housed there around the clock. They made do and created a sleeping area adjacent to where the firetrucks are kept.

“When the firetrucks start up, we do have the system that takes the fumes out of the station, but it doesn’t take all of them. They go right up into our bunk room,” Rea said.

He says the current station also has some flaws when it comes to properly showering firefighters returning from a fire to reduce their cancer risk.

Those aren’t the only expensive problems the department is facing.

Their 27-year-old fire engine has surpassed the average lifespan of a firetruck and will need replaced.

Plus, they now have mandates to buy new turnout gear and hoses after ten years regardless if they’ve been used or not.

Reasons why they’re turning to the voters, asking them to check yes on a 1.5 mill continual capital improvement levy.

“These issues aren’t gonna go away. I’m always gonna need to replace fire truck. I’m always going to need to replace ambulances,” Rea said.

If approve, it would cost the owner of a $100,000 dollar home an additional $52.50 a year.

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