WHEATFIELD — Firefighters, township officials, construction and architect came together Thursday afternoon to break ground on the new fire station being built in Kankakee Township. The plan calls for a two bay station, that will include meeting space and will be a place residents in the township can go in case of an emergency, such as a warming station for power outages in the winter, or cooling center in the summer.

The township also plans to purchase a tanker truck to house at the station for the Wheatfield volunteer firefighters use as needed. The hope is to lower the township’s ISO rating, thus lowering residents’ insurance premiums.

The new station will have its own exit onto County Road 200 East and will sit on the southwest corner of the township’s park and cemetery area. Construction trailers were already onsite, ready to begin the work to build the new station.

On hand to help celebrate the ground breaking were Wheatfield firefighters, including the chief and assistant chief, along with the township advisory board members and Township Trustee Randy Allen.

The architect for the project, Kenneth Sebree, out of Avon, Indiana, and Surveyor Kevin Sayers of Turning Point Surveying of DeMotte, were on hand to dig a celebratory shovel of dirt as well. Gariup Construction is the builder for the project.

Gariup placed the lowest bid for the building project at a cost of $948,000.

The township also set aside $100,000 for the purchase of a fire truck to house in it. The township board members, David Hohner, Louis Ketchum and David Whitaker, hope to have the tanker truck ready when the new building opens, which is expected to be sometime in the spring.

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