New facility for Tri-Township

BRILEY TOWNSHIP – Tri-Township Fire Department could have a new facility partially constructed as early as this summer, according to Fire Chief Dave Utt. The new building would be located just west of Atlanta near the Department of Human Services building, and have around 8,300 square feet of office, training, and meeting spaces, along with six apparatus bays.

Utt said plans have been in place to build a new facility for almost two years.

“We have outgrown where we’re at currently,” he said. “We can’t expand here. We could remodel, but we’d be in the same boat in the next 10 years.”

The current fire department building is owned by Briley Township, and the department pays rent to keep its facilities there. The new building would be owned by the fire department.

The new facility will be funded by the millage already in place in Avery, Briley, and Loud Townships, with no additional millage required.

“The mill brings in about $90,000 a year,” Utt said. “It fluctuates based on property values, so the amount does vary.”

There is a two-phase plan in place for building the new facility, which will take about two years. The first phase involves constructing the shell of the building and the apparatus base. After the first phase, the department plans to keep its trucks at the new facility. The second phase would be finishing the rest of the building with the offices, rooms and details.

“We’re waiting on architectural plans, the we’ll let out for bids,” Utt said. “Our plans should be done sometime within the next month.”

Kenyon Construction of Hillman is working on the architectural plans for the new facility.

“Everybody I’ve talked to is enthused about the new building,” Utt said.

According to Utt, the department would like to select a bid from the county.

“That’s our goal,” he said. “Keep it local.”

Tri-Township Fire Department covers 31 miles from its northern and southern borders. It serves almost 3,000 residents and averages over 100 calls a year, ranging from structural fires and wildland fires to vehicle extrications. The new facility will allow the department to grow with the needs of the surrounding townships.

Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.