Council transfers $100K to fund fire station reno

Members of the Huntington Common Council, meeting Tuesday, April 30, reluctantly approved a $100,000 fund transfer to pay for the renovation of the Condit Street Fire Station.

The station is being revamped to accommodate the downsizing of the fire department.

The number of firefighters has been reduced over the past several years as part of budget cutting moves. Now, city officials plan to close the Central Fire Station, which is housed in the City Building on Cherry Street, and divide firefighters and equipment between the remaining stations on Condit Street and Etna Avenue.

An original estimate of $225,000 for the work on the Condit Street station, provided by Fire Chief Tim Albertson to the council, proved to be about $100,000 too low after the project was given to architects. The extra $100,000 will pay for such items as fixing a leaky roof and making the restrooms compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The extra $100,000 will be taken from the Fire Officers Fund and placed in the Building Structure Repair Fund, where it can be used to pay for the Condit Street renovation.

Albertson says the move out of the Central Fire Station could be accomplished in mid-June.

In addition, the city's emergency dispatch operation will move out of the City Building by July 1, when the city and county will begin operating a joint dispatch center in the Huntington County Jail.

Those two moves will leave a large amount of space in the City Building available for other uses. Mayor Brooks Fetters has formed a committee that is investigating possible uses of that space.