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Orange puts temporary stop on $30k contribution to fire department

More questions arise about new Corinth substation

Chris Cooper Managing Editor

6 months 29 days 14 hours ago |1247 Views | | | Email | Print

Last month, the Logan County Fiscal Court voted to contribute $30,000 to the Corinth Fire Substation project. The project, which has already obtained $125,000 through fundraising and grants, is being organized by the Russellville Rural Fire Department (RRFD) in an effort to bring additional fire protection to the community on Hwy. 100, and also to lower insurance premiums for those in a five mile radius of the station.


At the Tuesday, Dec. 10th fiscal court meeting, magistrate Jo Orange asked if the check had been cut yet, because she had further questions about the project before she felt comfortable sending it.


She said she had talked with Auburn Fire Chief Jim Kutzman and that discussion raised additional questions for her including what firefighters would respond out of the new substation, and what kind of equipment would be put there. Orange said she would like to have RRFD chief Cheryl Allen come back to the court in January to talk with them some more about the project. Allen, who had come to the court in November asking for financial support from the county, told the N-D&L that she would be more than happy to answer any questions the magistrates had about the project.


When magistrates were in discussions about contributing the finds to the fire department, questions arose about the stations Insurance Service Office (ISO) rating, and if it would offer the savings that was expected on premiums right away. A fire department is evaluated on an ISO rating which is from 10-1, with 1 being the best. Points are given for everything from training aids a fire department owned, to the distance between fire hydrants. Historically, very few cities ever received a Class 1 rating. Russellville Rural current holds a Class 7 rating, which is deemed very good. The new substation will start out as an 8 or 9.


According to Allen, residents who live within five miles of the substation will see a decrease in their insurance costs the minute the station it is up and running. Allen says she has been in contact with ISO and local insurance agents to assure the department does what is necessary to comply and obtain the best rating they can get.


“I have been told, but it has not been completely confirmed, that we may have to retest for the substation in order for it to get the 7 we hold,” said Allen, adding that will not affect the project. “There is a list of equipment necessary to get an 8 or 9 and we have all of it.” The chief says any additional money the department gets this next year at fundraisers will go towards purchasing equipment for the new station in order to get a better ISO rating in the future.


Allen said an invitation was extended to the Auburn Fire Department by her to place an additional piece of their equipment for their use in case of a fire close to the area for their members. She said she told them they were welcome to use the new substation to help their community, and they could have some of their firefighters respond there to help their members or the Russellville Rural members if they wished.


“We have 32 firefighters who are very capable and willing to fight fire in this area. I have members on my department who can respond to this station quicker than our main station on the By-pass,” said Allen. “The intent of this station is to provide protection to the community in which it is placed, and that is what it will do. Instead of driving a piece of equipment from Russellville to Corinth we will have equipment already there to use.”


Allen noted that a lot of folks are depending on this substation for a relief in insurance rates and the assurance they will be protected to the fullest extent Russellville Rural can provide them with. The substation will also add protection to the county’s airport on Hwy. 100.


“I aim to see this project through to the end. And in the future, I am seeing a substation in the Greenridge area as well. We (RRFD) have dreams, and if God allows, I am going to stay awake and make them come to light with the help of my committed firefighters, board members, community and county,” said Allen.


2008 is when the idea came about to build a substation on Hwy. 100. The idea began with retired fire chief Ben Ferguson who thought the project would help many people. In 2008 the first quest of getting bids on the project began to allow the department to see exactly how much it would cost. In 2011 property was donated to build the station by Sandy Gacio in memory of Dorris “D.T” Rogers. From then on the department began a stringent fundraising campaign.

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