Plainfield spending $25M to upgrade public safety facilities

Plainfield is launching a $25 million plan to upgrade its public safety facilities that includes building a new fire department headquarters and two fire stations.

The growing burg in Hendricks County west of Indianapolis is facing a space crunch that is affecting both fire and police operations.

“The great thing about this, all of these projects combined into one, will provide us with a long-term solution for our public safety needs,” Town Manager Andrew Klinger said. “Then, hopefully, we’ll be set for years and years to come.”

Plainfield’s population grew from about 20,000 in 2000 to 30,000 in 2013. It expects to add another 5,000 residents by 2020.

One of its biggest residential projects is from PulteGroup. The Atlanta-based homebuilder has amassed 270 acres of farmland where it plans to build 740 homes, including 475 for the 55-and-older crowd.

Plainfield will build its new fire department headquarters and one of the new fire stations, No. 122, on five acres south of the police station on Moon Road near U.S. 40 on the west side of Plainfield.

“What was the center of town keeps shifting towards the west,” Klinger said.

That will free up the old fire headquarters along Quaker Boulevard [Indiana 267] to the east to be remodeled into a new county public safety communications center. The communications center now is in police headquarters. Its departure will free up space for police use.

The town has yet to identify a new use for the old fire station No. 122, which is adjacent to the Town Hall on Main Street. Ideas floated include redeveloping it for commercial use, Klinger said.

In addition, Plainfield will build another fire station, No. 121, on the the northeast corner of Quaker Boulevard and Stanley Road. That will allow the old fire station, also on Quaker Boulevard, to be remodeled into a new police substation.

Construction will begin in the spring and should be finished by the end of 2017.

The Plainfield Town Council began exploring options about a year ago after officials from the fire department, police department and communications center began pleading for more space.

“All of these requests were coming in at the same time, so they were able to piece this together,” Klinger said. “Everything kind of just fit together.”

In addition to needing more space, the communications center must purchase and install new equipment this year to stay current with regulations.

A tax increase will not be necessary to pay for the projects. Instead, Plainfield will use a combination of bonds, tax-increment financing money and cash on hand, Klinger said.

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