PDT Staff Writer
According to Shad Ruby, Assistant Chief of the Otway Fire Department, they intend to approach voters in the fall for a levy to help them construct a new fire station.
In March of 2012 an F-0 tornado damaged part of the Otway Fire Station that was used to store the department’s fire engine.
After the tornado, the station has received an outpouring of support and equipment from across the region and from a varity of other stations.
From the time of the tornado the intention of the department has been to build a new station using the donations and insurance checks they have received to help fund it.
Ruby said progress on the new station has been slow.
“Unfortunately things are going a little slow. We got some land donated to us by the father of one of our members. We have been in the process of getting the mortgage released and getting that land secured in our name for a while.”
Ruby said the donated land sits just outside of the village limits.
According to Otway Mayor Sue Nichols, the village needs to expand its corporation limits in order to build a new fire station at that location.
“We are looking to build a new fire station at the end of Otway on (State Route) 73 on land was donated to the village,” Nichols said.
She said if the village moves the corporation limit to the other side of the donated land, the station would have easier access to the road.
“If we move the corporation line to the other side of the donated land, where it drops the speed limit down to 35 (miles per hour) then they can go ahead and build it there,” Nichols said.
Nichols said since the speed limit is 55 in that curve, there is not enough stopping distance if the trucks are pulling out on the highway. That’s the reason the corporation limit has to be moved.
According to Kathleen Fuller, Ohio Department of Transportation District 9 spokeswoman, the village of Otway fire department approached ODOT with a driveway permit request.
“The next step is, we are looking to submit our plans to the state of Ohio for approval. Then we will go to the voters this fall on a levy to increase our funds to be able to construct a fire station,” Ruby said. “At this point we do not know what the exact cost is going to be. We have the plans, we have the steel frame already purchased but, there is a lot more that goes into it.”
He said once the plans are approved by the state the project will be put out for bid to get an idea of what the cost is going to be, giving a clearer picture of what the levy will be.
“I think we have to go for levy. We have around a third of what the whole cost is going to be (for a new station). We are low budgeted already. I don’t foresee us being able to make the payments without it,” Ruby said.
He said members of the department are working to become accustomed to their circumstances.
“We have a couple of engines that are in good shape we try to use over the summer. But, they will not fit in what’s left of our fire station, so we’ve just had to work around it. We’ve purchased a cheap short engine from Rush Township, that’s currently our primary engine,” Ruby said. “We will likely part with that once we build the new station because our other two engines are in better shape and are more ideal.”
The engines that will not fit in the station are being stored at members homes and brought to the station meetings for routine maintenance.
“We try not to complain to much (about the situation), but it’s not ideal at all,” Ruby said.
For more information about the Otway Fire Department visit them on Facebook.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.