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Lights glow, but Summit Hill fire house is still empty

Published October 14. 2009 05:00PM

Lights are on every night in the new Summit Hill fire house, but little light is shed on the status of utilizing the nearly year-old structure.

Last night, borough resident Steve Redash questioned the status of the building.

"Every time I ride by, I feel so sorry that a fire company like this is not occupied," he said.

Council President Joe Weber said, "As far as the buildings, we cannot comment too much because of potential litigation."

The borough's solicitor, attorney Joseph Matika, said several months ago the council decided to take samples of the concrete floor and asphalt parking lot and have them tested. He said the results of the testing were received yesterday afternoon and the report had not yet been read by the council members.

Redash asked if the results of the testing will be made public.

The solicitor said once the matter is resolved or in litigation, they will be part of the public record.

"We haven't decided what, if anything, the council will do," Matika said.

Council members have stated they spoke with another attorney specializing in such matters regarding the impasse on the building project. The original date for completion of the fire house was last Dec. 31.

It was noticed that cracks had formed in the floor of the fire house and other problems were evident.

The contractors reportedly have not corrected the alleged deficiencies.

Weber said a building meeting will likely be scheduled. Such a meeting will have to be advertised, he added.

Weber explained that the lights have been left on for security purposes. Councilman Harry Miller reported that the monthly light bill has decreased "tremendously."

Fire apparatus is being stored in the Summit Hill Borough Garage. Some equipment is kept in a storage POD.

Fire Chief Shawn Hoben said the POD has to be emptied. He said there is one item purchased nearly a year ago for use in the new fire house, noting the warranty will expire before the item can even be utilized. The item was purchased with a grant.

Michael Kokinda, a member of council, said there are some rooms in the fire house that are capable of being utilized and can be locked.

He was reminded by other council members that the borough has not yet accepted the building.

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