Chris Cooper Managing Editor
November 15, 2013
It looks as if the Russellville Rural Fire Department (RRFD) may get the $30,000 they need to finish the Corinth Substation out Ky. 100, but they may have to wait a little while so magistrate Jo Orange can look into something she wouldn’t mention at the Tuesday fiscal court meeting.
RRFD Chief Cheryl Allen spoke at Tuesday’s meeting, asking the court if they would consider giving the Corinth project $30,000, which is all is needed to make the dream of a substation a reality. The department has already secured a $100,000 grant from the Carpenter Foundation, and has raised another $20,000, leaving approximately $30,000 left to complete the project.
Magistrates were very receptive to Allen’s request, even going as far as magistrate Thomas Bouldin making a motion as such; however, when magistrate Orange whispered into Bouldin’s ear, he rescinded his motion. Both magistrates said they supported the fire department and the project, but wanted to wait a little bit to look into something they would not elaborate on.
“I see a win-win here,” said Orange. “If we can work out a situation. I have no problem with this, I just have a question I’d like to get answered.”
Judge Executive Logan Chick told Allen she had the court’s support but it might take a little while.
It was December of 2008 that the idea was born to build a substation in the Corinth area due to the high cost of home insurance in that area and the need for more fire protection. The idea began with former fire chief Ben Ferguson, who has since retired, along with his firefighters and board members.
In 2008 the first quest of getting bids on the project began to allow the department to see exactly how much it would cost to build a substation. A search for land began, and in June 2010 property was promised to the department by Sandra Gacio, who is related to assistant chief Darrell Rogers. In July 2011 the property was deeded to the Russellville Rural Fire Department by Sandy Gacio in memory of Dorris “D.T” Rogers.
In October of 2011 a special meeting was called by the department board and members of the community of Corinth at the Corinth Church. Donations began on this night for the project from members of the community.
Chief Allen told magistrates Tuesday that the substation would not only help lower insurance premiums and supply more fire protection, but the substation would also act a s a community center and a shelter in case of disaster.
“The substation can be filled with needed supplies in case a disaster ever hit and people could come and utilize the space as a shelter,” said Allen.
RRFD board member Bobby Blackford spoke Tuesday in support of the substation. Blackford, who is also an insurance agent, said there would be a substantial savings for citizens in that area on their home owner’s premiums. He said it will depend on each insurance company just how much of a savings there will be. “This will be an asset to the community,” said Blackford, adding that the substation was close to the Logan County/Russellville Airport as well.
Magistrate Bouldin said he was a little partial to this project considering it was in his district. he added that he had heard a lot of people in his community say this substation will be very helpful.
“I don’t want to put this on the court to make a decision today,” said Bouldin, “but I will say it is a worthy one. Thirty thousand dollars seems awful cheap for public safety. When you have something this specific that will reach so many people, it’s a no brainer and a good way to spend the taxpayer’s money. This project has my support.”
Magistrates Russell Poore, Drexel Johnson and Jack Crossley all said they supported the project as well.
“Anytime we can help lower citizen’s insurance, that allows them to spend that savings on other things, which boosts the economy,” said Poore.
Bouldin said he would bring the issue up at the next fiscal court meeting.
Retired RRFD Chief Ferguson was at the court meeting Tuesday and stood addressing the magistrates saying he was thankful for the county and how far they had come in supporting the fire departments.
“I came to the department with two dreams, one was to have a substation on Ky. 100, and the second was for the county to support the fire departments. You have come a long way baby,” said Ferguson.