Sullivan leaders are talking about plans for a city fire station

SULLIVAN, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Sullivan City Fire Chief Rob Robertson said the city has needed a new firehouse for some time, and a $14 million housing initiative coming to downtown is making plans for the current firehouse.

“We didn’t sell the fire station,” J.D. Wilson confirmed to WTWO’s Jane Thompson. “The fire station will be gone when this $14 million housing investment comes to the city, and they will demolish that fire station.”

City Councilman Scott Brown said the need for a new station existed before the housing development plans.

“This was a temporary firehouse that was operated in the early 1980s,” Brown said. “Here we are in 2023, and it’s still a temporary firehouse,” he added.

After nearly 40 years, from an aging facility to a lack of space, the city is in desperate need of a new station. “With more equipment, trucks getting bigger, we don’t have the housing to store everything we need,” Robertson said. The equipment we have,” he said.

As the city continues with plans to build more housing, Robertston said now is a good time to make plans for the fire station.

Last February, we reported that the City of Sullivan received a $500,000 Public Facilities CDBG grant from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA). This funding is reported to support the construction of a new five-slot terminal but this grant alone is not sufficient.

They also applied for grants through the Department of Defense as the city fire department provides fire protection for the crane test facility, Brown said. “We went through DCIP which goes through the Glendora test facility, and we were turned down twice for the grant on that,” Brown said. “

This grant application named 801 North Broad Street in Sullivan as the site for the new firehouse. Brown said the property isn’t on the table yet. “This property is still owned by the city. Right now, we can still build there, and we don’t know who the players will be with us.

The Sullivan City Fire Department doesn’t just respond within city limits.

“We also contracted with Hamilton Township, which Sullivan City is in Hamilton Township, so we have a contract with them,” Robertson said. “We do all the fire protection work in the town of Hamilton,” he added, “and we are also mutually agreeable with all the other towns in the county.”

Brown said the council continues to look for funding sources and grant opportunities.

“At the town council meeting, we voted to explore holding a referendum with Hamilton Township to build a new firehouse and what the current operating expenses are,” Brown said. “Full-time firehouse, full-time fire crew. It is not a volunteer fire station.

As of now, when it comes time to demolish the current fire station, the city has a few temporary places in mind, said J.D. Wilson, Sullivan’s mayor-elect.

“We’ll make sure everything is taken care of and their needs are met. If it’s temporary, we’re still working on a permanent solution,” Wilson said.

Chief Robertson said the option of temporary use of the old Eastside Fire Station is a possibility and assures the community that they should not notice any change in response during that temporary period.

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