GREENSBURG — In a special meeting attended by the Adams Volunteer Fire Department staff, County Commissioner Mark Koors, Adams Township Trustee Charity Wilder and Washington Township Trustee Christian Rust, the campaign to raise funding for a new fire department facility was announced.

“In my day job, I do a lot of emergency response work and work with a lot of fire departments, and when you need someone to do the work of rescue and clean-up a lot of people will give you advice on how to do it, but the volunteer fire departments are the ones who will actually show up and help you get it done,” Adams Volunteer Fire Department board president Roger Dumond said.

“We feel fortunate that we have 15 respondents on our list for a small fire department now - that’s good to slightly above average, as far as I know, and I take my hat off to all of them for being willing and able to do it,” he continued.

Dumond complimented the staff of the fire department, greeting them by name as he explained how he had driven by the fire department for almost 40 years and never realized how small a footprint the existing facility was until he’d become a member of the board.

“It became alarming to me when I learned what all needed to happen here with so many space constrictions, and I’m a believer in making the most out of our money, but it’s time now to look at building a new larger facility to serve the Adams/Clinton township areas,” Dumond said.

Larry Meyer spoke, saying, “Primarily, we’ve been waiting on a new fire station for years and years, and it was one of those things that didn’t happen. So Charlie Bill (Connall) and I decided that it was time for something to really happen, so we think we’ve got a plot of land.”

After a few more personal comments, Dumond introduced Gregg Sims as the chairman of the fundraising effort.

Sims greeted the attendees and said that when he started at the ATVFD in 2014, the place was “a mess.”

“Something like this is not something we’re forced to do, it’s something we want to do. And we went from having no money in the bank to getting all the money back from being misused by the previous administration. Now we have enough on hand to take care of the daily functions like new lighting,” Sims said.

He continued, saying that the current firefighters would not only like to have a larger facility, they “need to have one, because this building is so small, and we just need to replace so much equipment here.”

Sims continued, explaining to the assemblage that the Honda TIF money was going to provide the fund up to $750,000 toward the effort, and that a piece of land currently owned by Dave Scripture was appropriate for the new station. Through discussions with Dave Scripture, a four-acre lot near the Scripture home on old US Highway 421 was decided upon and soil samples had been taken there in preparation for the campaign.

Sims explained that the zoning commission would be asked to consider rezoning the land at an Aug. 7 Commissioners meeting.

“We’ve appealed to the TIF board and they’ve committed $750,000 for the new fire station over the 2019-2020 period,” Sims said. “I know that sounds like a lot of money, but the quote we’ve received from FDPH Design Firm in North Vernon is for over $978,000 for the finished project, figured from current union wages.”

An earnest money of $50,000 has been placed on the land for consideration, and depending upon the approval of the Zoning Board, a land survey would be conducted.

“That’s where we are right now,” said Sims, “and despite word that’s going around, we have no plans to build a heliport there.

“We plan to make the new facility good for public use - not a party barn - but all legitimate requests for its use will be considered,” Sims finished.

Currently, the ATVFD Board is President Roger Dumond, Gregg Sims, Wendy Cathey and Lee Dugle with members Ernie Johnson, Mark Gearhart and Steve Stagge.

The Adams Township Volunteer Fire Department members are Eric Christianson, Allisha Christianson, Doug Spitler, Lee Dugle, Jordan Noah, Ariel Brunker, Frank McCormack, James Quick, Jeff White, Kayla Keller, Mikey Byrd, Zach Bennett, Megan Nobbe, Ryan Marcoux and Kristin Jones.

Contact Bill Rethlake at 812-663-3111, ext. 7011 or email bill.rethlake@greensburgdailynews.com