Fillmore (IN) Breaks Ground on New Fire Station

The Fillmore Community Volunteer Fire Department got an early Christmas present recently after nearly 30 years of planning.

Department officials gathered with several other parties to break ground on a new fire station. The project has been a long time coming, as the department purchased the land for the new project in 1985.

The groundbreaking marks the beginning of a $732,400 project to construct a new fire station to replace the current structure, one the department has long since outgrown.

FCVFD Treasurer Paul Heavin said the years of planning and saving are finally paying off.

“We’ve been working 25 years or so for it,” Heavin said. “I guess it’s finally gotten here.”

That work has included years of the fire department’s annual chicken barbecues, and countless other fundraisers, all with an eye toward a goal that had to seem far away.

However, that dedication by the department caught the eye of some other organizations that have helped out in the process.

First it was the Putnam County Community Foundation, through which the Fillmore Fire Department established both a non-endowed fund and an endowment.

Donations to the non-endowed fund have helped with the building of the firehouse. The endowment is meant to sustain the fire department long-term.

With the Community Foundation partnership in place, the department, working with grant administrator Kristy Jerrell of Jerrell Consulting & Grant Administration Services, then applied for a Community Development Block Grant through the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA).

This process brought in yet another partner, as the Town of Fillmore applied for the grant as the lead agency.

That effort came together earlier in December, with representatives of the department and partners meeting with Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann to receive a $400,000 grant to go toward the project.

“Without OCRA and the Putnam county Community Foundation, this would not be possible,” Jerrell said at the groundbreaking. “It was a lot of entities that came together and collaborated and I think the state recognized that and saw the need.”

“We want to be able to parter with community,” OCRA West Central liaison Jill Curry added. “We are happy to partner with the town, the fire department and the Community Foundation.”

But that $400,000 is just part of the story. The original project cost was estimated at $558,658, leaving a local match of $158,658. However, bids came in high, bringing the total local match to $332,400.

No matter, though, the match has been committed and the project is moving forward, with Keymark Development of Terre Haute as the main contractor.

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