Under clear blue skies, 30 Lakeview officials, contractors and friends gathered March 18 to break ground for a fire station. Located on North Main Street near the water tower, the $900,000 project is the culmination of 10 years of planning.
Construction on the five-bay steel structure will begin as soon as weather permits and be completed by mid-November. Robinson Building Solutions of Bellefontaine is constructing the station.
“It’s about time,” said Lakeview Mayor Ryan Shoffstall. “We have equipment in three different locations right now.” The village has five fire trucks, a mobile command center, a hazardous material disposal trailer, a ventilator and two boats. All will be housed in the new facility.
Volunteer Fire Chief Norman Spring said that the 18 firefighters on 24-hour call will have a communications room, fitness room and meeting/training room available. Vehicles will leave the station via U.S. Route 33 and will pull back into the station from Main Street. “We won’t have to back the engines into the bays like we try to do right now,” he said with a chuckle.
The new fire station is funded through a ½ percent income tax approved by voters in November, 2015. Though the tax is approved for 15 years, a loan through Osgood State Bank is scheduled to be paid in 10 years.
Design and engineering was provided by Heintz Engineering and M & K Engineering.
Judy Wherry is a regular contributor to this newspaper.