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Ballardsville Fire to add 2nd station

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By Kenny Colston

BALLARDSVILLE – The Ballardsville Fire Department, which serves dozens of homes in northern Shelby County, is set to build a second station in southern Oldham County after getting approval from the Oldham County Planning and Zoning Commission.

The commission unanimously approved the second station, which will be built at 2414 W. Highway 22 in Crestwood. It also will have a public entrance to the station from Montford Circle.

The new station will be in addition to the current one on Highway 53 and will feature a community room that can fit up to 50 people and a safe room for weather emergencies, Ballardsville Fire Chief Stephen Fante said.

The 12,190-square-foot building will sit on roughly two acres and will feature three large bays facing KY 22 and a 35-foot tower out front. The department’s original station is on KY 53/22 near the intersection with KY 22 west.

Fante said the department has multiple reasons to build a second facility. Most importantly, it’s to lower insurance rates for those served by the Ballardsville Fire Department and to lower response times by having at least one station within five miles of every home in the Ballardsville fire district.

Because taxpayers’ money is being used to build the station, Fante said the department wanted to have a room that could be used for training, meetings or birthday parties, as well as a weather safe room. The new station will also feature an outdoor weather siren, since that area of Crestwood is currently without a siren, Fante said.

Additionally, Ballardsville’s lone station is at least 50 years old, having been last renovated in the 1950s, Fante told the commission.

No one spoke against the new station during the commission’s meeting on Tuesday and Fante said the district received more than the 75 percent approval needed to build the station from those in the Ballardsville fire district.

“We’ve been working on this for 10 years,” Fante said. “There was some opposition, but it was minimal.”

Geoff Arth, who lives in the Ballardsville fire district, addressed the commission in support of the new station.

“They have been an excellent community service,” Arth said. “When they had an opportunity to move closer I was thrilled with that. Almost everybody wants this to be here.”

The station will also has additional space for living quarters, if the fire department ever expands to have full-time firefighters or volunteers stay at the station, Fante said.

“We’ll have the structure for living quarters, but with the costs we’re not going to do that right now,” he said.

With approval of the commission, Fante said the next part of the process is to submit a request for bids for construction, which will take at least a month. After accepting a bid, construction will start on the new station.