mike davis
Kneeland Firehouse Completion…IT’S ABOUT TIME! By Mike Davis, Board President:

KFPD Board President Mike Davis

 

The time has come for us to complete construction of a Fire Station at our newly acquired lot of land at 6201 Greenwood Heights Drive. Financing a building on leased property proved difficult so Humboldt Redwoods Co. has donated this parcel of land and two easements for a water supply and an entrance road for Fire Equipment access. Their generous donation makes financing possible but processing this has cost valuable time and money. We had to: excise the parcel from a Timber Planning Zone, pay County subdivision costs, provide a land survey, parcel maps, title search and insurance. But now we hold title to 6201 Greenwood Heights Drive for the purpose of constructing a new Firehouse.

In 2014 the Board of the Kneeland Fire Protection District contracted with Greenway Partners and LaPotre Architects for planning a building and researching funding. Greenway gathered members of the community in community meetings to assess the interest and needs for a firehouse. This group looked at three models for a firehouse and determined that a three-phase strategy for construction beginning with a basic building to shelter equipment and provide a training site for firefighters. Greenway Partners research regarding funding and financing led to a decision by the KFPD Board that competing priorities (volunteer recruitment and equipment upgrades) needed addressing before we commit to completion of the Firehouse.

We have since added several new recruits, a later model First Response Vehicle and, a new structure fire response engine. With new confidence we have recently signed a contract to begin construction with DCI Builders of Ferndale beginning early September 2018. Cost of construction will be around $267,000 (add on up to 30% for required prevailing wage labor cost). Humboldt County, with Measure Z Sales Tax Funds has offered us an $80,000 grant toward purchase of a pre framed and engineered metal building and supplies. The building will have framing for future development while providing immediate shelter for firefighting equipment, training space and toilet facilities. After completion we plan to add more windows, doors and interior meeting/office space on a “pay as we go” basis with volunteer help from skilled and unskilled community members.

We are currently organizing financing and grant applications, a funding campaign and new budget strategies to ensure that we can responsibly meet our goals of providing fire and emergency protection at our current level of professional excellence. In taking on this critical project we need your enthusiasm and, importantly, your gifts of money and skill!