Brownstown approves deed transfers

Actions benefit firemen, roads

BROWNSTOWN

One deed transfer will allow a volunteer fire department to own its property, which will help with an upcoming building project.

Another deed transfer will result in improvements to an intersection.

The best part about the pair of transfers recently approved by the Brownstown Town Council? They didn’t cost the town any money.

In fact, with the transfer to the fire department, the town will be getting some money back.

In the fall of 2014, the town and Brownstown Township Fire Protection District split the costs of replacing the roof of the fire station, which is on town property in the 200 block of West Walnut Street next to the building that houses town hall and the police and street departments.

The fire protection district agreed to pay all costs with regard to the deed transfer and reimburse the portion the town paid to replace the roof, $6,782.

The deeded property is from the alley west of the station and from Poplar Street to the alley behind the station.

The current station was built in 1976 with funding from the town and Brownstown Township per the interlocal agreement in place at the time.

When the fire protection district was established in January 2011, all assets of the district, including equipment and trucks, transferred except for the property.

All other government bodies in the county transferred the property that contained the local fire departments to the new fire districts at the time the other districts were created.

Brownstown Township Fire Protection District officials decided it was time to make that request.

“This will aid the fire district in our upcoming building project in that we will own the property we are requesting funding to improve and build upon,” Eric Browalski, chief of the Brownstown Volunteer Fire Department, wrote in a letter to the town in July.

Since the fire protection district was established, it has made several investments to the current fire station, including upgrading heating, garage door openers and lighting. It also had split the cost of replacing the roof with the town.

The intersection that will be improved is where Bloomington Road forks off of Commerce Street or U.S. 50.

Steve Goins, vice president of human resources and facilities with Kocolene Development Corp. in Seymour, told the town council in August that the company was interested in donating the triangular-shaped 0.16-acre property in the 800 block of West Commerce Street to the town.

Kocolene bought the property from Jesse and Helen Sovern for $12,000 in April 2014. KMC31SOVERN LLC was set up to make that purchase, and it remained under Kocolene Development Corp.

At the time, Kocolene operated a Fast Max convenience store and gas station on a 1.081-acre site just to the east on Commerce Street.

In 2015, Kocolene sold the convenience store and gas station to Mac’s Convenience Stores LLC of Columbus, which opened it as Circle K. That company, however, wasn’t interested in the 0.16-acre site.

So Kocolene decided to offer donating the small piece of property to the town.

In the past, the site contained an Ashland gas station. Vendors later sold snow cones and sheds there.

Kocolene presented an environmental study to town attorney Rodney Farrow to show the property is clean and isn’t contaminated.

Part of the property that runs along Commerce Street is paved and contains a chunk of concrete that used to be the base of a sign. The paved area leads to Bloomington Road, where the property slopes down and contains grass.

Access to the area is blocked off with concrete parking blocks.

The town council’s next step is to figure out what to do with the property. Having someone maintain the area as a beautification project and using it to draw attention to town businesses or events have been suggested during recent council meetings.

Council President John Nolting said a local resident has expressed interest in helping beautify the area.

“We hope the use of this property benefits the town and brings recognition to the community,” Goins wrote in a letter to the town.

Author photo
Zach Spicer is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at zspicer@tribtown.com or 812-523-7080.