Messenger photos by Mike Munden
Range Township trustees (from left) Mark Anthony, Dennis Marshall, Ron Cress and Fire Chief Don Gildow stand inside the spacious new fire station being built in Midway next to the old station.
|The new Range Township fire station is under construction and due to be finished in February. The old building is at left.
Construction began in September and if cold or snow doesn’t cause too many slowdowns, the new Range Township Fire Station should be ready to use by February, according to Dennis Marshall, Range Township Trustees chairman.
The new facility is located next to the current fire station in the village of Midway. It is being built by Jay-Car Construction Co. of Mount Sterling, the only company to bid on the project.
Voters approved a 1.4-mill property tax levy last year to fund the $435,000 building which will include five truck bays, a large community meeting room, kitchen with utility space, rest rooms and an office.
Township residents will be able to use the community room for meetings and social functions free of charge, Marshall said. A required deposit will be refunded as long as the room is not damaged or littered.
Marshall said the trustees are very happy the township voted to fund the building and hope the community will get a lot of use out of it. Currently, township vehicles have to be moved outside the old building to make room for meetings.
The existing building is difficult to heat and in need of a new roof, new windows and other repairs, making it more cost efficient to replace. The structure was built in the 1930s as a car dealership; it was converted into a fire station in 1969.
The township vehicles housed there include a fire engine, a fire engine/rescue vehicle, a tanker and a grass fighter, which is a four-wheel-drive pickup truck equipped with a water tank and pump to put out grass fires.
Four of the old station’s bay doors are too small for two of the vehicles, which means the vehicles jockey for position to get out the one back door that is large enough.
Fire Chief Don Gildow said the 14-man, volunteer fire fighting team is looking forward to moving day.
“We’re cramped for space and trying to make do until the new station is done,” he said.
The fire levy is expected to generate almost $30,500 per year and pay for the new station in 28 years, spreading the tax burden among older, younger and future residents. No grant money was secured to go toward the construction cost.
“The voters were very kind to us and covered the whole amount,” Gildow said. “The grant money we did apply for did not come through.”
It has been previously reported that the building would eventually include a second story for offices, a lounge and living space for fire fighters. However, there are no plans for a second level at this time, Marshall said.
“So far, everything is going real smooth,” Marshall said, “but I don’t want to jinx anything.”