Proposed fire station would cost more than $1 million

A southern Johnson County fire department wants to build a new fire station at a cost of more than $1 million.

The new building would include space for administrative offices, sleeping quarters and eight fire trucks. It would replace a more than 40-year-old building, Hensley Fire Protection Board president Mike Hodge said.

The fire district serves about 48 square miles and nearly 4,000 residents in Hensley Township and portions of Union and Franklin townships. The Trafalgar Volunteer Fire Department, which serves the district, makes about 400 runs per year for fire and medical emergencies, Hodge said.

With the new fire station, the district would be able to handle projected growth during the next 40 to 50 years, Hodge said. The Trafalgar Fire Department is currently staffed by volunteer firefighters, but eventually the department would like to offer paid staff positions, officials have said.

The fire department also has five fire trucks, but officials said they hope to expand the fleet as needed in the future. Some of the fire trucks are too big to fit into the current fire station, officials have said.

The new station is projected to cost about $1.8 million, including about $200,000 in costs to borrow money, Hodge said. By comparison, when two new stations were built for the Franklin Fire Department, the buildings were built for about $1.5 million each.

The fire board will pay for the new building, but the Johnson County Council would have to give approval if the fire district borrowed money.

Last year, the fire district purchased about 20 acres on State Road 252, east of the Trafalgar town hall, for a new fire station. The land cost $275,000, and the board plans to sell back any land they do not use, Hodge said. About five acres will be used for the station and future land needed down the line, but the rest will be sold.

The new station would be about about one mile away from the current fire station on Pearl Street but in a more centralized area. Most of the development in the town revolves around State Road 135 and State Road 252, so it is a smart choice for the department to move closer to there, Hodge said.

Officials have not said what will happen to the current station once the new one is built.

In addition to the new station, the fire district wants to buy a new fire truck for about $600,000, Hodge said. The department’s oldest truck is a 1992 model, and the board likes to use a truck for about 20 years before it is replaced, Hodge said.

By the numbers

A new fire station is planned to be built on State Road 252 in Trafalgar. No blueprint has been made for the new structure yet, but land was purchased last year.

Runs Trafalgar Fire Department made last year: 400

Square miles served: 48

Firefighters: About 20

Cost of land for proposed fire station: $275,000

Cost of new proposed fire station: $1.6 million

Cost of new fire truck: $600,000

Cost of two most recent fire stations that were built in Johnson County:

Two Franklin fire stations: $1.25 million and $1.7 million

Bargersville fire station: $2.1 million