Davis Township property owners who live outside the Hamlet town limits will see a property tax increase of about 14-cents per $100 of assessed valuation to pay for the new 9,300 square foot, $750,000 fire station. That’s an estimate provided by officials with accounting firm Umbaugh and Associates during Monday’s public hearing on the project.
The actual rate will be determined by the interest rate the building corporation overseeing the project gets when they sell bonds to finance the construction. That rate would raise the taxes on an acre of agricultural land by $2.87 per year and on a $50,000 home by $14 annually. If the Town of Hamlet agrees to pay part of the debt annually on the 20-year project that rate could drop. Town officials have discussed paying between $6,000 and $8,000 per year toward the project.
The new building will be constructed south of the baseball fields between the Starke County Fairgrounds and Wayne Apartments on 2.16 acres of land. The 9,300 square foot structure will include four drive-through bays for fire trucks, office space for the Davis Township Trustee and Hamlet Fire Chief, restrooms, a kitchen and a community room that’s between 1,700 and 1,800 square feet. Plans call for a metal roof and siding with an option for a partial brick exterior. Part of the parking lot will be asphalt with some gravel surface.
Right now bids are being solicited for the construction and finishing work. The project has been broken up to allow local contractors to bid on things like the electrical work, HVAC, plumbing and concrete. Bid packets are available at the Hamlet Clerk-Treasurer’s Office. Bids are due by 2 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 8, at which time they will be opened and read.