(Posted Feb. 10, 2021)
The Jefferson Township trustees have entered into a contract to purchase land to be used as the site for a new fire station.
The trustees are purchasing approximately 10 acres on West Main Street, immediately west of the railroad viaduct extending from Main Street north to Little Darby Creek in West Jefferson. A future facility at this location will replace the existing fire station at 745 W. Main St.
The site of the existing station has very limited potential for expansion, which is necessary to accommodate growing demands on the fire department.
Additionally, the trustees believe it is in the best interest of the community to have a fire station with access to both sides of the railroad tracks in case of a blockage at the West Main Street viaduct. This access can be achieved at the future site with proposed right-of-way to Jackson Street, providing access to four railroad crossings.
The trustees hope to finalize the land purchase in the near future so that they can proceed with preliminary planning for the facilities update. This planning will include analysis of the current and future operational needs of the department and designing a facility that meets those needs. The plan will include a draft project budget and an analysis of financing strategies.
“This proposal makes much greater economic sense for our community than our initial plan of two stations,” said Fire Chief Chris Snyder. “It lessens or eliminates the separation potential of the railroad. One station will offer much less operating and maintenance expenses while also allowing better versatility with our current staffing. This location keeps the fire department centrally located and has the land capacity to serve the township well into the future.”
Snyder added that he looks forward to working with community partners on this project and with other efforts as the fire department moves into the future.