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Design, specs being finalized on new firehouse

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Representatives from the Posey Township Volunteer Fire Department hope to begin construction on a new firehouse next year. The current station -- which the department has outgrown -- sits at 409 E. Columbus St., Staunton. Times Staff File Photo. [Order this photo]
In 2009, the Posey Township Volunteer Fire Department earned a 1.2 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to construct a new firehouse.

At the time, PTVFD Fire Chief Larry Tempel told The Brazil Times the department received the monies through the grant process, which is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

However, construction on a new firehouse has not begun, but Tempel said things are moving forward.

"We'll probably know a little more in a couple of weeks," Tempel said earlier this week. "Right now, we're working on finalizing the design, getting all the specifications and getting final approval from FEMA on our plans.

"We didn't have any particular issues on our part. We just had to jump through a bunch of hoops. But it looks like things are starting to move along."

According to Tempel, the agency has outgrown its current firehouse, located at 407 E. Columbus St., Staunton.

The original building was constructed in 1911 and housed a church. The fire department took the building in 1957 and a truck bay was added in 1958.

A few years ago, the department purchased properties adjacent to its firehouse to use in training among other items. Tempel said approximately 20 years ago, one of the properties was incorporated into a parking lot.

But for the past couple of years, the properties have not been used. The properties were purchased because Tempel said the department could not expand its current firehouse.

The initial goal was to begin construction of a new fire station this year.

Tempel said he hopes to begin accepting bids for construction in January or February.

"Hopefully, we can start construction when the weather breaks in the spring," he said. "We've had the land surveyed and know the boundaries. We have done some work. It's not just all been sitting and waiting."

The county department was one of four in Indiana to receive grant money. The remaining three were the New Whiteland Fire Department, the Valparaiso Fire Department, and the Volunteer Fire and Rescue of Harrison Township in Martinsville.

Posey Township received the most grant money of any of the fire departments awarded in the state.

The local fire department received help writing its grant proposal from Staunton resident Matt Reed.

In order to receive grant money, departments were judged on firefighting safety, response times and the ability to "go green."

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