By Michelle Dupler
Franklin Township is ready to spend about $65,000 to protect hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment.
The money will go toward building a metal storage building west of the fire station on Sullivant Avenue. It will house specialized firefighting equipment donated by Marathon Oil.
Asst. Fire Chief Chris Grile said the equipment is worth about $250,000 and must be stored in a heated area for proper protection or it must be returned to Marathon.
“We’ve got to have storage if we’re going to accommodate this equipment we’re being gifted,” Grile said at the Aug. 29 meeting.
Grile and Fire Chief Rick Howard proposed building a pole barn, a 2,900-square-feet prefabricated metal structure with four access bays on a concrete slab, where the equipment could be stored.
In addition to two trailers donated by Marathon, the building would house a fire engine, foam equipment, and equipment for the road department. Grile estimated the storage building would meet the township’s storage needs for the foreseeable future.
The estimated $65,000 cost includes a construction bid from J&M Amish Contractors that includes purchase of the building kit, plus $35,000 for purchase of additional materials such as heaters and installation of electricity, gravel surfacing outside the building and other incidentals.
Grile said some of the township’s firefighters have experience installing electrical wiring and will perform construction work to minimize costs.
“The firefighters are jumping at the chance to do some of the work,” he said.
Trustees chair Tim Guyton said he was concerned about spending the money because of other expenses, which may come before the end of the year.
Fiscal Officer Lisa Morris said she reviewed the township’s budget and felt comfortable paying for the storage building’s construction from the building department’s budget.