Putnam to Rehab Firefighter Center

Pandemic aid will pay for most of project

The Putnam Legislature on Tuesday (Sept. 5) approved spending $1.3 million to demolish and rebuild the county’s fire training center because of safety concerns and to help agencies recruit and retain first responders.  

In a series of unanimous votes, the nine legislators authorized spending $1 million in American Rescue Plan funds that had been earmarked for police and fire radios; $50,000 from the county Bureau of Emergency Services maintenance account; $50,000 in federal aid; and $200,000 in renovation capital reserve funds, which the county hopes to replenish with grants. 

fire tower

Putnam County Executive Kevin Byrne and other elected officials, in a news conference on Aug. 9, called for a new fire training center. (Putnam County photo)

In August, County Executive Kevin Byrne said a training tower at the site in Carmel has not been used in a decade because of its poor condition, and that another facility was often closed for repairs. As a result, local firefighters in Putnam travel to neighboring counties for training, he said.

“This is an example of the county giving back to our municipalities, our town fire departments,” said Paul Jonke of Southeast, who chairs the Legislature.

The center is expected to open next summer.

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