It was a hard fought battle, but the second time around, Valley Township voters passed by the narrowest of margins – one vote – the tax levy that allowed the building of the new Valley Township Volunteer Fire Department building. This Saturday an open house will be held for the community to get to see the new facility, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. at 728 Robert Lucas Road in Lucasville
“There will be a tour of the fire house and we’re going to have door prizes for the kids,” Valley Fire Department Chief Teri Horton said. “We’d like for the community to come out and see this big accomplishment. It’s so exciting. It’s a dream come true. I thought it would never get here.
“”I think it is an asset to the community because this other station was so old and so inadequate. It should be something that the community is proud that they have. This department has worked really hard for what we have.”
Horton praised the efforts of project manager Dave See.
See said the township started the project just over two years ago. They had to come up with a design and a location and after the land was cleared, they were able to see the building would fit on it.
“We hired Tanner Stone Holsinger Donges to do the architectural design and construction document for it,” See said. “Then we put it out for bid.”
That’s when they put it on the ballot for the first time to get the money to build it. But it failed.
“The next election we put it on the ballot again and this time we passed it by one vote,” See said. “Then there was a delay because there was a challenge to the some of the votes, and then ultimately that was resolved and were able to go ahead with putting it out for bid
The first time it was bid, the bid came in too high, but the next bid, after a re-design, was $1.5 million, and that bid was accepted. They awarded the project to Mullins Construction of Wheelersburg. Groundbreaking began in February of 2016 and the project is now complete.
“If the community doesn’t see what this man has done trying to get this built,” Horton said. “He never gave up on our dream. He kept pushing and pushing and we kept pushing and pushing, and it was a close vote. I don’t think the community realized how bad this (old) building down here is.”
She said the township already owned the property where the building is, saving taxpayers having to purchase another piece of property. In addition to the building, a 3,000 gallon tanker will be arriving in February.
“It is so necessary and so needed for the community,” See said.
Horton doesn’t hesitate to tell anyone who asks, how they were able to go from a defeat at the polls to building the new fire station.
“God gets all the glory as far as I’m concerned because without him we would have nothing,” Horton said. “He saw to it that we got through this and he saw the big picture that. even though it was an uphill battle, we were going to get what we prayed so hard for.”
She has a system that she says has always worked for her.
“I prayed my way through it and God kept saying – ‘I’ve got this. I’ve got this’ and he did,” Horton said. “The anchor held and that’s my motto – the anchor held and the anchor always holds. That’s where I got my strength more than anything.”
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.