Birdseye receives $500,000 for new fire station

The Town of Birdseye will receive a $500,000 grant for the construction of a new fire station.

Lieutenant Gov. Suzanne Crouch announced the town was one of 21 Indiana cities and towns receiving federal funding through the Office of Community and Rural Affairs.

The state of Indiana distributes Community Development Block Grant funds to rural communities to assist units of local government with various community projects such as infrastructure improvement, downtown revitalization, public facilities and economic development.

The town had applied for a grant to build a new fire station to replace the nearly 60-year-old station currently in use. A building that besides its age also has several other factors working against it; namely, its size and its location.

The station lacks the depth and height necessary for the fire trucks it houses. Also, space is so limited in the station that additional equipment is stored in a shed outside the building. The station is also located near the railroad tracks that cut through the town.

A plan prepared by Universal Design Associates would create a new 5,150 square foot station — an increase of 1,691 square feet — and will include HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems as well as a large concrete pad on the east side of the building to pull the vehicles out of the building.

The new building is estimated to cost about $719,000 to build and would be located at the former-Birdseye school property located at West Third Street which is owned by the town. The town will provide the remaining matching funds for the grant through cash on hand and a 20-year loan through German American Bank.

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