Construction of the new Jackson Township Division of Fire Station may be behind schedule, but it will have its officers in place when it finally opens.
On Oct. 22, at the regular meeting of the Jackson Township Board of Trustees, the trustees voted unanimously to promote firefighters Jason Burley, Dan Tilley and Brian Wess to the rank of lieutenant. Immediately following the vote, the newly promoted officers of the Jackson Township Division of Fire were sworn in by Trustee Chair David Burris, followed by a reception featuring friends, families and co-workers.
"When you look up here, you're looking at the future of Jackson Township Fire," said Fire Chief Lloyd Sheets.
"These guys are our future leaders," Burris added.
The men will be stationed at the new Fire Station 204, currently under construction at 4900 Buckeye Parkway.
Burley, Tilley and Wess were among the five department employees who interviewed with the board in closed session on Sept. 10, for the positions. All three started out in the department as part-time firefighters before being hired on a full-time basis. Tilley started in February 1996, Burley in November 1999 and Wess in May 2000.
"All three of these guys are excellent employees," said Deputy Fire Chief Rick Dawson said. "It was a competitive exam. They performed stellar, and they'll make a great addition to our leadership."
The new lieutenants will have to wait for the new fire station to open. Construction began in January , and plans originally called for the station to be completed in time for a dedication on Sept. 11, but delays caused that date to be missed.
Roberts Construction Co., the project contractor, updated the schedule in July when a sub-contractor hired for the facility's heating, ventilation and air conditioning fell behind, resulting in Roberts terminating the contract and bringing in a new firm and pushing completion back to October. Since then, more issues, including problems with concrete and gutters, have pushed back completion further.
"There's lots of things going well, and several things that are not," Township Administrator Mike Lilly said of the construction. "Bottom line, I think we'll be ready by Christmas."
Fire Station 204 is the first fire station the township has built since 1978. Funding for the new stations came from two sources. Grove City's Pinnacle tax-increment financing district, established in 2004, contributed just over $2.5 million, and the township received a federal stimulus grant of $1.4 million.