Franklin purchases JEMS station property for new high school roundabout

As Franklin city and school officials put together their puzzle of moving public facilities around in preparation to construct a new roundabout on East Sixth Street/Ohio 123, the next step was taken last week to move that project forward.

Franklin City Council approved purchasing the Joint Emergency Medical Services headquarters property at 201 E. Sixth St. It will be needed to construct the roundabout to slow traffic as well as provide access to the new Franklin High School as well as to Community Park.

Franklin purchased the property for $190,000, which was the appraised fair market value.

JEMS Chief Jesse Madden said the EMS/ambulance district is moving because of the roundabout.

City Manager Jonathan Westendorf said the property purchase was necessary because the city has to own the property before the Ohio Department of Transportation can start the roundabout project.

He said the city plans to use the building for the city’s parks and recreation department offices and install a new 500,000 gallon ground level water tank and pump house on the backside of the hill where the building is located. He said the driveway to the building will also be changed.

The JEMS District has already purchased land at the Carlisle Business Park, at 495 Central Ave. to build a new station that will accommodate JEMS headquarters and its vehicles as well as house the Carlisle Fire Department. Madden said the preliminary estimate is $6.1 million for the new facility, but those costs are not yet finalized. JEMS paid Carlisle $125,000 last year for the 4.3-acre site that is located across the road from Dairy Queen.

He said plans for the new project has already been approved by the Carlisle Planning Commission and the joint ambulance district is projected to break ground in mid-April, and the new 14,000 square-foot station should be completed by February 2024.

“We’re really excited about the ground breaking,” Madden said. “We’ve outgrown the (current) station. We wouldn’t be moving if it were not for the roundabout. We look at this as a win/win for everybody.”

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