The $525,000 renovation of Linthicum's fire station has been delayed to mid-January because workers unexpectedly discovered gas lines beneath the underground fuel tanks they are removing.
But the month-long delay in completion of the project should not cause financial problems, said Battalion Chief Gary Sheckells, a spokesman for the county Fire Department.
"We are still within the budget," he said. "We have not run over."
The gas lines will force workers to proceed more carefully, but should not cause any complications, he said.
The bulk of the two-story firehouse was built in 1938, with a one-story storage area in the back added later.
Renovations of the Camp Meade Road station began June 1.
In addition to removing the fuel tanks and installing a water and oil separator for floor drains to meet environmental concerns, the county is making the station more energy efficient and livable.
Workers are upgrading electrical wiring, removing asbestos from pipes and installing an emergency generator.
Windows and insulation are being replaced and a sprinkler system is being added to the station's living area.
Firefighters will have better living quarters, with a new heating and air-conditioning system and redesigned interior.
The refurbished station will be more accessible to handicapped visitors.
Captain Sheckells says some of the renovations will save the department money in the long run.
For example, he said, the old oil-fired heating unit "was extremely costly to operate."
While it was not included in the renovation budget, bathrooms in the living area of the firehouse will also be upgraded because County Councilman George Bachman secured $10,000 from the Department of Public Works for the job, Captain Sheckells said.
Mr. Bachman, a Linthicum Democrat, said the men's and women's shower stalls would frequently leak downstairs.
"Both of those [stalls] were in a shambles, believe me," he said.
The station is staffed by six paramedics, nine firefighters and shift officers.
Rented trailers in the rear of the station have been serving as office space and bunk-room space while the renovations take place. The trailers will be removed when renovations are completed, Captain Sheckells said.
The Linthicum station currently is the only one getting a major face lift, Captain Sheckells said.
"This one is the first one in quite a few years," he said. "And right now it's the only one on the books."