Construction is about to begin on a new Trafalgar fire station that is more than double the size of the current station and will include sleeping quarters for future full-time firefighters.
The Trafalgar Fire Department plans to spend $1.8 million on the new station to be built directly west of the town hall and police department at 2784 W. State Road 252.
The new station will be 13,907 square feet, more than double the amount of space of the current station on Pearl Street, which is 5,600 square feet, said Jerry Lancaster, president of the Trafalgar Volunteer Fire Department.
Trafalgar’s new station will have six bays for trucks, which is one more bay than what the current station has, Lancaster said. The department has six trucks and is cramped at the current location, he said.
All trucks will be parked in their own bay at the new station and each bay features a drive thru, so trucks can be pulled straight out from either side, he said.
The Trafalgar Fire Department, which covers more than 48 miles and includes all of Hensley Township and parts of Union, Franklin and Nineveh townships is a volunteer-only force of less than 25 firefighters. The station provides fire service to all Nineveh-Hensley-Jackson school buildings.
The new station will feature dormitories for the likely eventuality that the area will need full-time firefighters who staff the station 24 hours a day, Lancaster said.
Residents in Hensley Township’s fire protection district will see their property tax rates for their fire service double this year due to the money being borrowed to build the fire station. The debt is to be paid off during the next 10 years, but could be paid down earlier. The fire protection district owns about 19 acres of land at the site of the new station, which will sit on about 10 acres. Nine acres are for sale, and the proceeds could be used to pay off the debt a year or two earlier, Lancaster said.
Operating a larger fire station, such as paying the utility and insurance costs, is expected to cost about the same, since the new fire station will feature energy-saving technology such as LED lights and will have more insulation than the current 40-year-old building, he said.
The current fire station is for sale with an asking price of $170,000. Money from that sale will be used to furnish the new station. Construction on the new station should be complete in October, Lancaster said.
A new fire station is needed as the number of calls Trafalgar firefighters are responding to has been increasing. Last year, the department went on 450 emergency calls, compared to 2010, when the department reached 400 calls.
What: Groundbreaking ceremony for the new Trafalgar fire station
When: 10 a.m. Saturday.
Where: At the new station, 2784 W. State Road 252. The station is just west of the town hall and police department.
Who: The public is invited.