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Sewickley fire department happy to stay put

| Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Cochran Hose Company's fire chief says his department is content with keeping the station located within the center of Sewickley.

“We actually prefer staying where we are right now,” fire Chief Jeff Neff said. “We think some things can be done to (the borough) building to make it work for us.”

Cochran Hose's fire department trucks and equipment are stationed in a portion of the borough building at 501 Thorn St., along Chestnut Street.

Neff said he asked department members their thoughts on relocating elsewhere within the borough, but members overwhelmingly wanted to stay put.

He cited a strong connection to residents because the location is within walking distance to businesses and services frequented often by neighbors.

Neff said the borough would have a “huge cost savings” by staying in the borough building and not constructing a new station.

Borough Manager Kevin Flannery said a new station could cost at least $5 million.

“We don't have that kind of money,” Flannery said.

He said borough staff and engineers would look at fire department ideas to see how they might work with the building's footprint.

Neff and Mayor Brian Jeffe said fire department leaders and council members would meet to discuss the possibility of renovating the current space.

Jeffe said discussing relocating the fire department was an item “council wanted to address” this year. Jeffe proposed a subcommittee to discuss the fire department's plan to stay.

Along with Cochran Hose, the borough's police department, borough management, Sewickley Water Authority and the nonprofit group Union Aid Society occupy the borough building.

Leetsdale's fire department is located within its borough building, too, and one of Moon's fire stations is connected to the township's police department and on the same property as the municipal building. Edgeworth's former fire department was within the borough building, which houses the police department.

Bobby Cherry is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-324-1408or rcherry@tribweb.com.

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