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Rural fire district considers selling Fairgrounds Station

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POLSON — Polson Rural Fire District trustees are considering the proposed sale of Fairgrounds Station No. 4.

“This board did not go looking to sell (the station),” Chair Jack Clapp said. “We were approached.” 

Lake County Search and Rescue has offered $289,000 to purchase the station. Trustees agreed to store the LSAR boat throughout the winter, but are waiting to respond to the proposed sale until they get public input and the results of a commissioned study by Emergency Services Consulting International on ways to improve service for rural residents. The Rural Fire District contributed $10,000 to pay for the study, the Polson Fire Department contributed $7,000, and the study is now underway. 

ESCI employees spent three days on site, interviewing stakeholders, working with Fairchild, visiting the fire stations and collecting GIS data. The study will also look at growth and trends in the Polson area.

Clapp said that in order for him to consider a sale, the Rural Fire District must have locked a plan in place, including the cost of a new station. He also noted that this speculation is preliminary; trustees need to first see the community’s response.

Lake County Commissioners said the Fairgrounds Station would need to go to a government entity. They wouldn’t entertain a lease with a private entity, according to Lake County Commissioner Bill Barron.

In other business, Chief John Ed Fairchild reported the fire department responded to 21 calls in September, nine of which were rural calls, four were fires and two were crashes. Fairchild also said Trustee Drew Hoel handed out a work application to a potential firefighter, but the person has not returned it.

The trustees also adopted a credit card policy for the use, accounting and monitoring of the card, including the use of a log.

The Rural Fire District is looking at purchasing another tender to replace a 1979 model that has required frequent repairs.

Meetings are held on the second Monday of the month. The next meeting will be held Nov. 13. 

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