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Kent's West Side fire station to expand

By DIANE SMITH Reporter Published: September 25, 2017 4:00 AM

Kent's West Side fire station will be expanding in the months ahead.

The station, at 418 N. Mantua St., was to be expanded last year for a building expansion, however, the architect that was to design the project dropped out, delaying the project, Fire Chief John Tosko said.

The new architect, Ted Manfrass, had a new layout planned for the station addition, which meant slightly different variances were needed. The new addition is proposed to be seven feet from the side property line and about 20 feet from the rear property line. The Kent Board of Zoning Appeals gave the OK this week.

The addition will include a pitched roof and space for gear storage, a supply room, storage area for outdoor equipment and kitchen improvements.

Board members pointed out that the fire station is on an oddly shaped lot, and it's difficult to build an addition.

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Tosko said the project should be going out to bid in the near future, with construction expected in the fall or spring. Cost is estimated at $250,000. The west side fire station was constructed in 1949, with an addition constructed in the early 1990s. The main fire station in the central part of the city was built in 2003.

The commission also granted sign variances for the building at 143 Gougler Avenue, which will house Family and Community Services and AxessPointe.

AxessPointe wants to move its existing sign from its site in Franklin Township to its new location. Family and Community Services also wants to update its existing sign.

Roger DiPaolo of Family and Community Services pointed out that the buildings have separate uses, but are connected by a bridge, which means they cannot have separate addresses.

"These are two very separate businesses," he said. "They need to be identified."

The board approved the sign variances, but asked AxessPointe to turn off its lighted sign at night.

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