Rossville VFD groundbreaking
A groundbreaking ceremony was held last week on Tuesday with representatives of three townships and the Town of Rossville present, along with members of the fire department and other interested parties.
"This is the result of work by all the townships and the town over the past five years, to get a new fire station constructed," said Allen Remaly, president of the Rossville Town Council.
The townships involved in the project are Owen and Ross townships in Clinton County and Clay Township in Carroll County, all served by the Rossville fire department.
Clay Township advisory board member Jerry Frey said the project is a work in progress.
"We have the $600,000 for the construction of the building," he said.
"It might take a year to finish the inside (restrooms, furniture, office, etc.)," he said. "We need another $125,000. The total cost of the project is $1.5 million."
Frey said he is confident that the community will raise the necessary funds.
"This is a very tight community," he said. "There have already been donations, and I'm sure there will be more to come."
Frey said the land for the station, three acres on State Road 26, was purchased from Kenny and Mary Lou Gray.
"This was the old turkey hatchery property and also the old Legion Hall site," Frey added. "The current fire station used to be the old Opera House."
Wayne Remaly, another member of the Clay Township advisory board, said the current fire station has been at that location since the 1930s.
"The current station can't house all our trucks now," Frey said. "One's at the City Building. And traffic's a problem where the station is now."
Mike Rothenberger is the Rossville fire chief. He's been on the department 19 years and he's been chief for almost 10 years.
"It was on my list of goals when I became fire chief to get a new station built," he said. "We'll have about three times the room we have now, and that's a big plus for us. We'll be able to get all the trucks in the same building."
There are 34 active firefighters on the department and eight cadettes.
Frey said his family has had two serious fires, and he owes a lot to the firefighters.
"I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the fire department," he said.