City approves $3.3 million loan for fire station renovation

City officials will borrow up to $3.3 million to pay for renovations at fire station 22 on West New Road.

The Greenfield City Council this week gave final approval to pursue a bond for upgrades to the 25-year-old fire station. The board’s seven members unanimously approved the proposal.

The station, 210 W. New Road, opened in the spring of 1991 to house volunteer firefighters. As the city’s population grew, so did the number of firefighters, turning the station into a secondary firehouse that now houses six firefighters every shift, said Fire Chief James Roberts.

The facility isn’t large enough to accommodate their needs, he has said.

Plans call for a two-story addition to the west side of the existing facility to include new living quarters, a locker room, storage for equipment, a kitchen, a day room, a fitness area and a new ambulance bay. The existing facility will be renovated into a training center and office space.

Tax rates for Greenfield residents will increase by about 3 cents per $100 of assessed value should the city borrow the full $3.3 million, according to city documents. For a home valued at $150,000, that equates to an approximate $45 annual increase.

Residents who have already reached their property tax caps won’t see an increase to their bills.

The interest rate on the proposed loan is 2.75 percent, and payments would be made over 16 years, accruing about $935,000 of interest, city documents show.

This week, the Greenfield Board of Public Works and Safety gave Roberts the OK to seek estimates for the project. Those quotes will come in next month, giving officials a better idea of how much the project will cost, said Clerk-treasurer Lori Elmore.

Roberts said crews won’t break ground on the renovation until March to avoid construction during the winter, and the current facility will remain functional as the addition is added.

Councilman Mitch Pendlum said the station renovation has been on the city’s to-do list for years. He’d rather see the city knock down the current structure and build a completely new station, but the addition is more cost-effective since the current building’s structure is in good shape, he said.

It’s the council’s responsibility to make sure city-owned buildings are maintained, Pendlum said. The city can’t afford to pay for the fire station addition out of its pocket, so borrowing the money is the best alternative, he said.

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Samm Quinn is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3275 or squinn@greenfieldreporter.com.