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The Commissioners’ and Chief’s struggle is justifying taxpayer funding for a fire hall they can find no use for.
1) A very important need of the Fire Department is Volunteers. If we had locals who are willing to volunteer as EMS, EMT, or Fire, it would be easy to justify the expense of the hall.
2) The Chief will check with other Public Entities that could be interested in the building, and perhaps do a Public to Public transfer, keeping in mind the Community use need. He said we can start making contact with public agencies as well. Some ideas were fish & wildlife, WWU crew or biology, parks department or public works for equipment storage, invasive species.
3) According to the Fire Department Attorney, they do not have to sell it on the open market. They would be able to sell it at fair market value to a community organization like the LSA, a Community Hall Board of Trustees, or something to that effect.
4) The Chief will investigate if they would be able to do a Special Levy for this community to fund the hall, but he didn't believe that would work.
5) We asked, if the capital expenditure on the Community Hall were supplemented by the community, ie fundraising, would the Commissioners be able to justify retaining the hall as the capital expense (or monthly expense) would be negligible. Our Commissioner will look into this with the Commissioners.
6) We could form a Parks Authority, and the funding would come from the State or County. A board of administrators would likely need to volunteer. We would need to submit the paperwork by August 2022 to be on the November ballot.
*The annual operating expense for the hall was approximately $4200.
*Abatement on the hall began Friday June 10.
*They cannot use volunteers on the work due to safety.
*They did not have additional expense on the repairs to date.
*There are long term expense/repair such as roof, gutters. Possible water system updates if used as a community hall and fire doors/framing hardware if used as fire hall.
*They could not legally justify gifting money from the sale of the hall back to the community.
*Surplussing the hall does not mean it would go up for sale immediately, and we could still use the hall in the interim as soon as safe.
1) Reach out to the community for people who would be interested in volunteering as an EMT, EMS, Fire or the like.
2) Contacting public agencies to investigate potential hall use for a public to public transfer.
3) Investigate forming a Park Authority (I'm thinking we'd need to get signatures to get it on the ballot by August).
4) Investigate/find people who would be interested in forming a Board of Trustees for a Community Hall or Parks Authority administrators.
5) Volunteer on a Community Hall Fundraising Board.
If you can work on/head up any of the above tasks please contact:
If you have any neighbors/friends that would like to help, please reach out to them and let us know.