Red Monte Thomas has been dreaming of this for a long time, and wasn’t sure if it would ever really happen – a new fire station, one where all of the fire trucks owned by the fire district could be housed in one building.
At the present time, contractor Century Contracting is grading the land and getting ready to put in footings and forms.
The process hasn’t been easy. For years there was a division within the fire district because the county was in the fire district but the city was not. The fire department simply contracted with Malad City to provide services. That made it very difficult to obtain grants and to work towards the goal of building a fire station. That was rectified in May of 2011 when city voters approved Malad City’s annexation into the Oneida County Fire District. Since then the district has been working hard trying to obtain financing for the new building.
With land and hook-up services donated by Malad City, the district had $450,000 for a building. When the figures came in, to the dismay of the district they found that they needed an additional $365,000 to build the fire station.
This summer, negotiations were completed with D.L. Evans Bank for a lease arrangement, which will finance the building and allow the district to pay regular payments, along with the option for the district to pay the lease off early. “The bank bent over backwards for us,” said Ray Davis, chairman of the fire district. “The Evans family really wants this, and we appreciate their support.”
The fire station will have the capacity to store six to eight fire trucks. In addition, the floor plan calls for two offices, one for the fire district and one for the Oneida County emergency coordinator; two ADA restrooms (men and women’s); a small break room (not kitchen facilities but an area for food catering); a tank room; ADA shower facilities and laundry room so the firemen can clean up at the station after a fire; a small training room and a larger training room that can also be used for community affairs and meetings. A storage room and mechanical room will be at an upper level in a small area. Parking areas will be on the front and sides of the station.
Red Monte Thomas has retired as a fireman, but he is still active in the fire district and has been for 32 years. Even though the fire district was created in 1948, the levies were small. Several override levies were passed successfully over the years until 1982. Because of the 1% initiative the levy was frozen and voters did not pass an override levy in that year. In 1989 the fire district was reorganized and the district limped along until 1995 when the county fire district was expanded to include the whole of Oneida County (with some areas later opting out). In November of 1996, taxpayers passed the last override levy, which allowed the district to increase their certification. In the spring of 2011, the city joined the district and the fire district now includes almost all of the county, except for a portion of the west side of Oneida County.
The long awaited fire station is expected to be completed by January 25, 2013.