Firefighters need help
ST. IGNATIUS — It’s almost auction time to help support the St. Ignatius Volunteer Fire Department. The 22nd annual Firemans Auction is scheduled for Saturday, June 25, at the Old Town Field adjacent to the community center starting at 11 a.m. This year, the food line is a bit different. The firefighters are still cooking the meal like usual, but instead of a buffet style lunch, firefighters will take orders for meals concession style in an effort to cut costs. Captain Joe Mitchell explained that people can order different individual items including hamburgers, pulled pork sandwiches, or hot dogs. Chips and salad are also available. The auction starts at noon for items like local art, quilts, and other items. “We hope people get involved,” Mitchell said. “This is our fundraiser to support the fire department.” The extension for the St. Ignatius Rural Fire District Levy passed during the June Primary Election with 382 votes for and 118 votes against. The levy is for approximately $14,589. Mitchell is relieved that it passed. The department worried that they wouldn’t have enough money for basic operating costs without it, but the funding isn’t an increase in revenue. “It’s an extension on what we were already getting,” Mitchell said. “It isn’t a new tax increase.” And the department operates on a tight budget. “We never have enough,” he said. “Equipment is expensive. People don’t understand how much it takes to run a department.” Mitchell said that the gear for one firefighter costs about $3,600, and a much needed new fire truck costs about $100,000. The department doesn’t send people a bill for putting out fires, responding to wrecks, or other emergencies. “We are always thinking of ways to raise money,” he said. “It’s also a good community get together. People can hang out and visit. Jump for Joy is available for the kids.” Donations for the auction can be made anytime by calling 406-745- 4190 or 406-745-4266.