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Local News

October 27, 2010

Clintonville FD to build annex in Barkeyville

Oil Region group donates 6 acres for fire substation

BARKEYVILLE — Clintonville firefighters have received free property for a new substation in Barkeyville.

The Oil Region Alliance, which owns property at Barkeyville Industrial Park, recently agreed to give 6 acres of land to the firefighters.

“We owned 118 acres out there, and we have about 25 acres left,” said Randy Seitz, president and CEO of the ORA.

The acreage started filling up after three industries started moving into BIP in 2004. The firefighters will be neighbors with Team Hardinger, Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc. and Goss Gas.

“We’re happy to give 6 acres to the Clintonville (Volunteer) Fire Department,” Seitz said.

“We kind of like it because it would be valuable to companies at the industrial park, as well as residents of Barkeyville and Irwin (Township) because their homeowner’s (insurance) would go down a bit. We thought it was a win-win situation.”

The value of the land is about $18,000 per acre.

“We thought it was a pretty good deal,” said Sheldon Jacobs, fire chief.

The firefighters have been established in Clintonville “close to 75 years,” he noted.

The substation will be handled by nine members of the fire department’s board, which has representatives from all nine counties it serves.

“With 50 firemen, everyone has their own idea,” he said.

“We told (the board), ‘Here’s what we need to do the job; you take it from there.’”

The need for the substation is due to Clintonville’s 96-square-mile coverage area, not counting areas where it provides backup.

“We go almost to Franklin,” Jacobs said.

The substation will be a “central location,” he said.

It will also be closer for Barkeyville firefighters to get a truck in an emergency. They won’t have to drive 7 miles to Clintonville and back to access a truck for a fire in the Barkeyville area, Jacobs added.

Barkeyville firefighters make up half of the Clintonville team.

“We run a lot of calls in the Barkeyville area,” he said. “They’d only drive a mile to get a truck and the response time is a lot quicker.”

The substation won’t have a fire hall for rentals, but a truck garage, restrooms and a meeting room.

“The building will have about two trucks to start,” Jacobs said.

It will need to be constructed in the next 5 years or the land goes back to the ORA, added Harry Van Zandt, board member representative from Victory Township.

“We’re trying to generate grants somewhere that would help us at least partially build a substation there,” he noted.

“Once we have a building in place, the land becomes ours.”

The fire department would like to start building within the next year. It has no money budgeted at this point.

However, it will have a groundbreaking with the ORA and state Rep. Scott Hutchinson at the site at 2 p.m. Oct. 27.

The firefighters hope the groundbreaking will jump-start donations to the effort, Zandt said.

Getting the land has been the first crucial step.

“We’ve been wanting to do this the past 4 to 5 years,” Jacobs said.

“We’re pretty happy about it. It’s going be a closer drive for a lot of our members.”

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