STAUNTON -- The process is moving along quite well, according to Posey Township Volunteer Fire Department Chief Larry Tempel.
In fact, the town could have a new fire department building by January 2012.
On Tuesday, Tempel informed The Brazil Times PTVFD received eight bids recently for construction of the new building.
In 2009, the department earned a $1.2 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to construct a new firehouse. The department received the monies through the grant process, which is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
"We have taken the bids under advisement," Tempel said. "Right now, we're trying to determine the proper bidder, the lowest and best bid."
Tempel added some of the bids came from local companies.
"It was a broad spectrum of bidders," he said.
The department is currently working with West Central Indiana Economic Development District, Inc., (WCIEDD) grant administrator Kristy Jerrell. However, it also received help writing the grant proposal from Staunton resident Matt Reed.
Tempel said the transition to Jerrell worked out "fairly well."
"We had to go find somebody," Tempel said. "(WCIEDD) is a government-type entity so that actually worked out pretty good."
Tempel said the majority of bidders stated the project could take at least 250 days to complete from signing contracts to finishing the building, meaning a target date to move into the new facility could be January or February 2012.
"Hopefully within the next week to 10 days, we will award a contact to the (bidder)," Tempel said. "Construction could start in early May."
Tempel said the department has outgrown its current firehouse, located at 407 E. Columbus St., Staunton.
The original building was constructed in 1911 and housed in 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 for training purposes, adding close to 20 years ago, one of the properties was incorporated into a parking lot.
But for the past few years, the properties have not been used, giving the department hope to expand its current facility.
Tempel said the current station would still be used.
"We will continue to keep our current building," he said. "We're going to turn it into a training area and use it for storage."
The department was one of four Indiana fire departments to receive grant money through the process. 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.
In order to receive the grant money, the departments were judged on firefighting safety, response times and the ability to "go green."
Tempel said a groundbreaking ceremony could come soon.
"Hopefully, we'll get a groundbreaking scheduled within the next couple of weeks," he said.