Westfield looks at bond for new fire headquarters, public safety building remodel

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The Westfield City Council will consider a financing bond for the city’s public safety building at 17535 Dartown Rd. during its Aug. 24 meeting.

Burtron

Chief of Staff Todd Burtron presented on the bond at the council’s Aug. 10 meeting, but because the ordinance was only introduced, no vote was taken.

The financing bond had previously been discussed during previous council finance committee meetings.

“The public safety building lease purchase is retiring at the end of this year. As a matter of background context, the building was built and occupied in 1997, housing both police and fire,” Burtron said. “You can imagine it has served a very good purpose over the last 23 years.”

Burtron said the financing bond, part of which includes a $5 million bond for a new fire station and an uncertain amount for the remodel of the public safety building, was timed so as not to compound the debt for the public safety building project.

“Both agencies (police and fire) and the city’s public safety have grown in numbers, so the methodology here would be to petition the council in sizing the appropriate bond as not to raise tax rate beyond the current levy servicing the current debt,” Burtron said. “What that would allow us to do is have the fire department vacate their position at the current public safety building and move into a new fire headquarters on Ditch Road in the Osoborne Park real estate owned by the city and use these (bond) proceeds to build that facility. Therein allows us to do a remodel of the current facility on Dartown and (Ind.) 32 such as to allow the police department to occupy that building for their needs.”

Burtron said the proposal is not new and that the city has been discussing it for more than a year.

Council member Scott Frei asked for clarification on financing for the total project.

“I was confused in the finance committee meeting. So this is a request for a $5 million bond for both the construction of a new fire station and the remodeling of the current facility, is that correct?” Frei said.

Burtron said that was not correct. The remodel funding would be from a separate bond.

“We aren’t going to take a Step 1 without knowing ultimately what a Step 2 might be,” Frei said. “Today, we are discussing a $5 million bond, but ultimately what we are looking at is a $10.3 million solution.”

Burtron said he didn’t yet have the firm numbers on what the police station remodel would cost.

“The numbers I mentioned in the finance meetings are conceptual,” Burtron said. “I would love to have a more refined number for the remodel project.”

For more, visit westfield.in.gov.

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