Lake County firefighters keep quarters at Clermont hotel

Lake County firefighters keep quarters at Clermont hotel

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Lake County Firefighters will wait a little bit longer to check out of a Clermont hotel.
The Lake County Fire Department set up a temporary fire station at the Value Place Hotel on State Route 50 five years ago.
"We identified a need for us to have a presence down there, we jumped on an option that we thought would be temporary, and it's turned out to be more than that," explained Lake County Assistant Fire Chief Jack Fillman.

When the Lake County Sheriff's Office offered up land at a substation about a quarter of a mile from the hotel, the stay appeared to be coming to an end, but the county recently learned that the city of Clermont is negotiating for some property that might also suit the department's needs.
Fillman says the department informed county leaders of the new option Tuesday morning.
"It was apparent from the board from the comments this morning that they realize [the firefighters' need to move] and they want to do something about getting us out of that hotel.  However, it's incumbent upon us to look at this option for right now," Fillman said.
Fillman estimated that a new facility would cost around $400,000.
The department currently pays $1,200 a month for two rooms.  
According to hotel management, that is a discounted rate.
"Value Place Clermont is happy to have provided, and continue to provide, clean affordable and safe accommodations to the Lake County firemen," said Adam Mikkelson, Vice President of Liberty Investment Properties, which owns the hotel.
Fillman said it's best for the department to move so that they have control over the property where expensive county material is kept.
According to Fillman, the fire truck has been vandalized once during the five-year stay, one firefighter has experienced damage to his personal vehicle, and there is concern about the safety of hotel guests as the fire truck comes and goes.

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