Fishers issues $2.5 million bond for firehouse

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A final shift in funding for Fishers’ recently completed fire headquarters will help pay for the remainder of the project and free up cash without the need to increase taxes.

The Fishers City Council approved issuing up to $2.5 million in general obligation bonds Monday to reimburse the city’s cash reserves after the recent completion of Fire Station 91. Fire personnel moved into the $10.6 million Fishers station and fire headquarters at 2 Municipal Drive last Thursday, and now that the building is finished, city officials wanted to be sure they’ve got cash on hand to deal with any pandemic-related expenses.

“When we began the process of funding the rebuild of the fire headquarters, we anticipated pulling $2.5 million out of cash reserves as part of the cost. Then, late last year, we were able to refinance some of our current bonds,” city spokeswoman Ashley Elrod said. “With those savings, we were able to bond the $2.5 million for no additional cost.”

In November 2018, the city council approved funding to demolish and rebuild the 10,000-square-foot firehouse built on the site in 1991. Elrod said the city arrived at the decision to rebuild after hiring a consultant to evaluate the condition of several municipal buildings.

“As a result of that report, the fire headquarters was found to have inadequate or failing HVAC system that was creating air quality challenges and condensation. When you’ve got people there 24/7, that poses a different challenge than it would for an office building,” Elrod said.

Firefighters and their equipment temporarily moved into the Fuel Tank facility west of State Road 37, near 126th Street, in January 2019 and demolition of the old headquarters started a few months later, in April.

Today’s two-story, 31,000-square-foot firehouse features a training room, office space, living quarters for 91 firefighters and the new Fishers health department.

In April, the city decided to cut ties with the county health department and prop up its own services to offer Fishers residents COVID-19 testing. The city council appropriated $2.5 million to pay for the launch of the department and those testing sites, further depleting the city’s reserves during an uncertain time.

“The city thought it was prudent to free up our cash reserves now, knowing the unpredictability of the COVID crisis,” Fishers city attorney Chris Greisl told the council Monday. “Due to the favorable refinancing climate we find ourselves in, we were able to take in these additional costs of $2.5 million while still maintaining a tax-neutral position.”

A grand opening celebration for the new fire station has been delayed due to COVID-19. A ceremony will be scheduled for a later date.

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One thought on “Fishers issues $2.5 million bond for firehouse

  1. Fishers Mayor Scotty Mcfadness must have lost his mind! Fishers doesn’t need a new firehouse we need more pizza! I know Lincoln Henry Fibness Loves when Aunna Fibness takes him to all the pizzerias in Fishers. Maybe when the new firehouse opens Scotty can have a pizza night! Keep bringing the pizza Scotty!