The 15-year-old building that houses Thornapple Township Emergency Services in downtown Middleville will likely be used for something else in the future, according to Township Supervisor Mike Bremer.
The township board formed an ad hoc committee of seven to study the idea of a new TTES building and the township and village will work together to “find a new home” for the service, he said. Officials agree the next TTES has to be contagious to the village.
“I welcome input from the community,” Bremer said. “If you have a good idea for a location, give me a call.”
There is development of the Thornapple River area into a park-like area, planning for use of the old train depot, a boat launch, Veterans Memorial, Farmers Market and the possibility of an amphitheater to hold the Friday Night Music Series and other events, all in the strip of land between the river and emergency service building. The growth makes the uses incompatible, Bremer said.
“Ambulances and fire trucks maneuvering between people isn’t a good idea,” he said.
The building has a lot of potential, he said. It could be a hotel with a conference center on the lower level, a community center or for almost any commercial use. A community center could also be used as an emergency shelter for township/village residents, if needed, with a meeting room, bedrooms, showers, a commercial kitchen, plenty of room in the equipment bay and its own generator.
When they find an appropriate location and build a new building for TTES, there will be space for township offices, making township business centered in one place. The current township hall will be sold for commercial use and put back on the tax rolls, he said.
Bremer expects some preliminary information from the ad hoc committee at the Jan. 14 board meeting.