|Middle Point FD new building plans moving forward|
|Friday, June 06, 2014 8:00 PM|
BY ED GEBERT
DHI Media Editor
MIDDLE POINT —Officials in the Village of Middle Point are hoping that plans for a new fire building remain on the fast track.
According to Fire Chief Craig King, Middle Point is involved in seeking two money sources at the present to get started on a building which will replace the oldest of the two building currently being used by the department. The new facility will have a community safe room beneath it for community residents to use in times of severe weather.
“We have applied to FEMA for the safe room portion of the building. That basically means they would construct a community safe room. That application is being sent in this week. It goes to FEMA for approval through Ohio EMA,” King stated. “We’ve also applied to the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s Office for the revolving loan program they offer every year. That has not been finalized. The interest-free revolving loan is $300,000. The community safe room grant is for $500,000.The safe room is paid for 75 percent by FEMA, 12.5 percent by the state, and 12.5 percent local match funding.”
The safe room will form the foundation for the new structure.
“It will be underground, so it’s basically a fortified basement with handicap accessibility,” explained King. “FEMA has built several around the state above-ground, near trailer parks and the like, but this will be one of the first above ground shelters. It’s cheaper to build that way, and we basically get the foundation for our building built by FEMA.”
King noted that the village does not want to lose that $500,000 grant money from FEMA, so the finishing touches of the station will likely need to wait for more funding. He said that at this point, they want to be able to house the vehicles and get the safe room constructed.
According to King, the awarding of the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s grant could come as early as later this month. The FEMA zero-interest loan will probably not be finalized until July.
Coming up with funds to cover the 12.5 percent local match has been greatly assisted by Vantage Career Center.
“We’ve partnered with Vantage for part of 12.5 percent local match,” King stated. “They have agreed to step up and help with construction and their electrical class will do the electrical in the safe room, and we can count their labor as part of the local match.”
Another donation comes through the Fire Association which is donating land back to the village where the new building will be located. That site is on the location of the department’s older of its two buildings in Middle Point.
There is still plenty of work to do, but the department is getting major help in making this project a reality.
“We need to come up with about $10,000 for that $500,000 grant,” King pointed out.
It was also announced this week that Middle Point will be acquiring one more vehicle for the Fire Department. The department was awarded $219,118 for vehicle acquisition by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grants program. The nearly $220.000 award which was awarded as part of the seventh round of competitive grants will go for a new tanker truck which King noted, “We definitely need that.”