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Firehouse expected to be built next year in Frenchtown

A firehouse is expected to be built next year in Frenchtown, increasing the Ramsey Volunteer Fire Dept.’s number of fire stations to three.
Spencer Township Trustee Donald Satterfield learned last week that he will receive a Community Focus Fund grant of $265,000 through the Indiana Dept. of Commerce’s Community Development Block Grant program.
‘I’m just as tickled as I can be,’ said Satterfield, who has been working on getting a third station for RVFD for about two years.
(Township trustees cannot submit applications for block grants, so it was sponsored by the Harrison County Board of Commissioners.)
This was the second time this year a grant application had been submitted; it was not approved during the spring grant cycle.
The $256,000 will fund almost half the $515,000 project. Satterfield said the balance will come from riverboat money approved by the county commissioners.
At a public meeting in January, the cost of the project was estimated at about $513,500.
‘The cost of materials have gone up since then,’ Satterfield said.
The new firehouse ‘ one-story with about 6,120 square feet ‘ will be built on two acres in Frenchtown across S.R. 337 from St. Bernard Catholic Church. It will have five bays, a maintenance area, small dispatch center, rest room, and a multi-purpose room that can be used for training and as a community center. It will also be a polling place for North Spencer Township. (This year, North Spencer voters had to vote in Jackson Township.)
The Ramsey VFD, with stations in Ramsey and New Salisbury, serves Spencer, Jackson and Blue River townships. It was founded in 1961.
With the new station, firefighters hope to provide quicker response time to homeowners and businesses.
Results from a study conducted by R. W. Bassett & Associates found that the additional fire station would provide coverage to approximately 85 to 90 percent of Spencer Township and at least 95 percent of the population and about 95 percent of the addresses. A small portion in the southern part of the township would be beyond the five-mile station range, the study said.
Homeowners’ fire insurance ratings could be reduced after the new station has been in operation for one year.
Satterfield said he contacted Berry Prindle Architects of Louisville on Friday about proceeding with the drawings. ‘We hope to let bids soon,’ Satterfield said.
Construction would begin after the first of the year, said Satterfield, who will travel to Indianapolis on Nov. 18 to receive a check for the grant.
‘I’m pushing this along as fast as I can,’ he said.