Roanoke’s fire dept. may move

Roanoke Town Council held its first February meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 3, discussing a new volunteer fire station and various vendor quotes for town projects.

Fire Chief Brandon Taylor was present to discuss the possibility of building a new volunteer fire station in Roanoke. Taylor is currently discussing costs with a builder and is making sure their tentative location, on the corner of Main and Vine streets, would be satisfactory for their needs.

Council President Dave Meitzler asked if there were any other properties under consideration if their current plan fell through.

Because of the central location of this site, Taylor was adamant that the chosen location would be their best option, especially since the town already owns the site.

Taylor said, “If we were a paid department where the guys were at the station responding from there, it wouldn’t be a big deal to go outside (of town)… But when guys have to respond, it’s best to have it centralized.”

Taylor added, “I would never want to cross a highway because that’s a lot of traffic to try to get across.”

However, Taylor also brought up several issues they would have with this site. The builder they are currently working with didn’t think they would be able to have the bay doors open onto Vine Street because of the slope of the street. A major utility pole may also have to be moved which would be a “huge cost factor.”

Taylor is hoping to present a plan with expenses to the council soon.

 “We’ve outgrown where we’re at,” Taylor said, referring to their building at 126 High St., Roanoke. He went on to say that, of the many fire stations in Northeast Indiana he’s visited, Roanoke’s was the only one he could think of that wasn’t built specifically to be a fire station.

The council requested that Taylor present again when he had a concrete plan with expenses to go forward.

In unrelated business, Meitzler presented several updates for the parks department. They are looking at the new park pavilion being completed in May. With that, they want to install decent security cameras to assist the police department with the vandalism issues.
Meitzler also discussed scheduling the summer and fall baseball seasons. He noted that this would bring other travel teams to Roanoke and hopefully increase revenue for the town. Since some of the tournaments would last several days, baseball fans would be able to visit some of the local Roanoke establishments in between games.

Clerk/Treasurer Sarah Milton received quotes for deep cleaning the town hall. Vice President Joan Abbott asked if the jobs could be split, so they could go with the cheapest option for each project. Milton is going to speak with the vendors this week.

In other business:

• Councilman Nick Scheer is working with several vendors on mowing quotes.

• Meitzler reported that the utility and street departments are both short-staffed, so the council will discuss a new plan for those departments in the next month.