Two Dexter Fire Station Options in Artist Renderings with Price Tags


At long last, the future of Dexter’s fire station is in the hands of the people.

City residents will decide on Nov. 8 whether to approve two mils projected to generate $8.4 million for the construction of a new fire station or renovation of the current one.

“City Council has continued to work with our architect and our fire chief to bring forward two design options to show the public at this stage of the process," said Mayor Keough in an email. "Both design options are excellent. They both provide 6 modern bays for our fire service and rescue vehicles, new living quarters for our firefighters and both options will allow us to continue to provide superior service as we respond when we are called to help. I encourage residents to support the ballot initiative so that we can continue to move forward to improve our fire department.”

The city’s current fire station at 8140 Main St. was built in 1957. By the turn of the millennia, modern fire-fighting technology and equipment had outgrown the old building. In the early years of the new century, village leaders began discussing updating the current station or building a new one. But, as many people know, those discussions repeatedly stalled over location, price, and design differences.

The Dexter Fire Station is the interlocal Dexter Area Fire Department (DAFD) headquarters, which consists of Webster Twp, Dexter Twp, and Dexter. The current station also includes a substation for the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office.

The DAFD employs a full-time chief, two assistant chiefs, a fire inspector (captain), an administrative assistant, 12 full-time firefighters, and approximately 12 on-call firefighters. All three entities of the DAFD contract with the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office for police services. The DAFD interlocal agreement requires the city to provide facilities for the Sheriff’s Office. While the fire station gets all the attention, the millage includes a new/updated facility for the Sheriff’s Office.

Two mils means a tax of $2 for every $1,000 of a property’s taxable value (approximately half of its market value). For example, a property with a market value of $200,000 will typically have a taxable value of $100,000. Multiply $2 by 100. That property owner will be required to pay $200. If a property’s market value is $400,000, that property owner will be required to pay $400. All these numbers are approximate, and exemptions exist. But it’s the general idea to calculate what the millage would cost a property owner annually.

The city is also allocating $1 million from its General Fund for the new facilities.

The city has been criticized on social media and in conversation for not providing more detail on how it would spend the money.

When the City Council approved the ballot proposal at its Aug. 8 meeting, Mayor Keough stated, “I don’t want people to think we’re undecided on whether or not to update our public safety facilities. We know our stations need to be modernized. But it’s like any investment or improvement. The details can’t be finalized until you determine how much you can spend.”

In a follow-up email, Keough added, “I want the citizens of Dexter to know that your City Council is working very well together and very hard along with our staff to deliver the best services and make the best decisions. We are also trying to be diligent in analyzing all our options. It is great that we have options. The largest unknown factor in our public facility improvement discussions over the years is how much are the residents willing to commit to these improvements. We know this is a big ask, but we also trust that they understand how important this is.”

On Thursday, Oct. 13, from 6 pm to 8 pm, the Dexter City Council will host an informational meeting regarding the public safety facilities bond proposal on the Nov. 8 ballot. This meeting is at the St. Andrew's Church Fellowship Hall, 7610 Ann Arbor St., Dexter, MI 48130.

You can learn more about this ballot proposal at

Below are artist renderings of the two concepts with price tags. More information in the city council meeting packets for Sept. 26

Images by Partners in Architecture from the Sept. 26 City Council meeting packet.

NEW CONSTRUCTION AT THE CORNER OF ANN ARBOR RD & MEADOW VIEW  DR  (Sign states "Proposed Future Home of the Dexter Fire Department")


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