Kiski fire department’s $1.2M social hall, truck garage to be completed in the fall
More than a dozen years in the making, the Kiski Township Fire Department is only several months away from finishing its new $1.2 million social hall and truck garage.
It took a lot of Lenten fish fries and support from donors and the township to pay for a project that was conceived when the fire department bought a wooded 3-acre parcel along Route 56 near Kings Road in the 1970s.
“We’re really excited about it,” fire Chief Rich Frain said. “Everybody worked so hard. The guys have been talking about this project since I’ve been fire chief, and that’s been 15 years.”
The department long ago outgrew its present garage for its fire trucks along Kings Road near the township police station and social hall on Old State Road.
The new development -- a single-story, tan and burgundy, metal-sided structure -- will feature two interlocking buildings: a truck garage about 70 feet by 80 feet and a social hall about 60 feet by 68 foot. The garage is 25 percent larger than the current one and will help firefighters better maneuver and park trucks, according to Frain.
The social hall, which is 50 percent larger than the current facility, can host larger events, such as fundraisers.
The building will be equipped with a backup generator and will serve as the township’s designated evacuation center, Frain said.
The fire company borrowed $1.2 million, putting down $200,000 that the department saved through its major source of fundraising over the years: Lenten fish fries.
To finance the building, the township will pay for the largest portion - about $700,000 over 20 years -- allocating $35,000 annually from its capital reserve fund, according to township supervisors’ Chairman Jack Wilmot.
The fire company will pay just about the same amount to make $67,000 in loan payments annually. Fish fries and other fundraising events will cover the expense, Frain said.
The township is in its second year of dispersing the $35,000 contribution, which comes from a fund for capital improvement that was saved over the years, according to Wilmot. There will be no tax increase resulting from the contribution, he added.
The new banquet hall and new garage are important to the township for public safety and a much-needed venue for events, according to Wilmot.
The building is expected to be complete in October, according to Frain.