(SALEM) - The Washington County Commissioners have agreed to support efforts of the Pierce-Polk Volunteer Fire Department to obtain a Community Focus Fund grant to cover costs of a new station at the fairgrounds.
Marcia Walker of the Leader-Democrat reports that Cecilia Peredo, with River Hills Economic Development District, met with the commissioners says the county will not incur any financial obligations, but does act as a sponsoring agency for organizations seeking CFF grants.
The maximum amount for a CFF grant is $400,000. She says the department has two stations, one is owned by the town and was built to house "1950-size" trucks, Fire Chief Robert Mull says the department owns the other located in Pekin on Ind. 60.
CFF grants are competitive; Peredo is not optimistic of the county's chances of obtaining the grant. The first step in the process is to submit an application, the deadline for that is March 26.
The deadline to submit a full proposal is May. That means much has to be accomplished in a short period of time, including a public hearing and an environmental review.
Mull says the current stations are just too small.
He envisions a facility with multiple bays, a large meeting room, large office and kitchen, "something we could operate a little more efficiently out of."
Washington County is hosting one other CFF project for the Blue River Fire District. That is helping with costs for a new building for the Blue River Fire Department.
Peredo said advertising for bids for the Blue River project will be placed the end of February; a pre-bid conference is tentatively set for March 12 with bid opening at the March 19. Washing- ton County also sponsored a CFF grant for Blue River Services, which recently opened a new building on Reid Avenue in Salem.
Some of the requirements include that at least 51 percent of the population that would be served be considered either low or moderate income.
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