The Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District Board of Trustees agreed unanimously Tuesday evening to accept a short-term lease agreement with the city of Hillsboro to lease the North East Street fire station through the end of the year.
Paint Creek chief Bradley George said the short-term lease at $2,500 a month will allow Paint Creek to formally take up residence in the city’s newer fire station while negotiations continue for the fire district to purchase the building, most likely as part of a long-term lease-to-buy deal being negotiated with mayor Drew Hastings.
George said that anyone needing to make personal contact with the fire department should now come to the North East Street station, rather than the station on the corner of North High and Gov. Trimble Place, where Paint Creek has been headquartered since locating in Hillsboro in 2012.
The temporary lease offered by Hastings and accepted by Paint Creek is retroactive to April 1 and calls for a monthly payment of $2,500 through Dec. 31, with Paint Creek responsible for paying all utilities. The city will maintain insurance on the building, and retains the right to use the community room for meetings or other events.
Hastings has proposed a long-term lease-to-buy deal with Paint Creek for the newer station beginning Jan. 1, 2018 and running through Dec. 31, 2029, with the district paying $5,000 a month to the city and taking responsibility for utilities, maintenance and insurance for the building.
The deal would also include Paint Creek signing over the old uptown firehouse property to the city. The lease payments would total $720,000 over 12 years, after which the city would transfer the station to Paint Creek for a nominal payment of one dollar.
George said Wednesday that an appraisal done on the old fire station has to be done again because appraisers incorrectly included other parts of the structure in their appraisal instead of just the portion of the facility that constitutes the fire station.
Hastings met recently with Dan Mathews, president of the Paint Creek board, and agreed to give Paint Creek until the end of the year to finalize a decision on the long-term deal, rather than a July 31 deadline the mayor had originally proposed. The least agreed to Tuesday by Paint Creek specifies a date of Dec. 31, 2017 to reach a permanent agreement.
Paint Creek established its presence in Hillsboro by purchasing the old uptown fire station on North High Street from Hastings in 2012 before it began covering the city. Hillsboro City Council voted in 2013 to disband Hillsboro Fire & Rescue in favor of a contract with Paint Creek, leaving the city’s new fire station vacant.
Both Paint Creek and city officials have long expressed a desire for Paint Creek to move to the newer fire station if a deal could be completed.
Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or by email at [email protected]