This March, contractors will begin $2.28 million of repairs and upgrades to Fire Station 592 on Refugee Road and Violet Township did not raise taxes to pay for it.
The fire department managed to cover the bill for renovations less than two years after completion of a brand new $6 million station in downtown Pickerington.
“If it is ten or eleven years since last time that we asked for a levy then we have essentially doubled the time we told the public that we needed,” Little said. “I think we have proven to be good stewards of the public’s money. I think that speaks volumes to how we utilize the funds that the public trusts us with.”
At nearly 25 years old, Station 592’s roof leaks and the heating/air conditioning unit needs replaced.
On cold mornings, the firefighters must scrape the windows and warm the engines of all the vehicles left outside. One of the additions to the station will be a garage to protect all the department’s cars from the weather. The garage will take out space where employees and visitors park their own cars so a new lot will be paved to the left of the entrance.
Smaller repairs include the addition of an exterior door security system, new gutters, flooring, kitchen counters and cabinets.
“This project is viewed as preparing this building for the next 30 to 40 years,” Little said. “We will always have small projects to update, but this major renovation will set us up for many years to come.”
Originally slated to begin construction in January 2021, COVID issues pushed the start date to the beginning of March. The station will remain in operation during the renovation, which should be completed by early autumn.
The township’s third station located near Target in Reynoldsburg is in good shape.
The department receives $11 million per year from property taxes and another $800,000 annually from ambulance runs.