Construction Begins on a Rural Kansas Fire Station with Financing from USDA and an Electric Cooperative
The City of Quinter, Kansas, had a groundbreaking ceremony for a new fire station earlier this month. All of the city’s fire equipment will soon be under one roof, which will help improve the fire station’s efficiencies when crews respond to emergencies in its 400 square mile service area. The new station is being built with funding support from USDA and a local electric cooperative.
According to City of Quinter Administrator, Ericka Gillespie, the city of less than 1,000 needed a new fire station because the old facility was not meeting the needs of the community. A larger space was needed for training, storage, and additional fire protection equipment and trucks. The larger fire station will also improve the department’s fire rating, resulting in lower insurance costs.
“The new fire station will allow us to add to our fleet of fire equipment, and will ultimately help better serve the residents of Quinter and Gove County,” said Gillespie. “Our fire department serves the agricultural community as well as the cities in our county, and this new fire station will help us have adequate equipment to help protect our farmer’s crops and the people in the community.”
The new fire station will be a 5,400 square foot pre-engineered metal building for fire equipment storage that includes bathrooms, changing rooms, and space for a future training room. In the new facility, there will be room for two fire trucks, and the city is looking forward to adding to its fire protection capabilities.
The fire department currently has 13 volunteers, and with the new equipment and facility the city is hoping to attract more volunteers to serve on the fire department.
Midwest Energy, an electric cooperative in western Kansas, received financing through USDA’s Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program to assist the City of Quinter with building the new station. The cooperative will establish a revolving loan fund through the repayment of this initial loan to the City of Quinter. As the revolving loan fund is established, Midwest Energy can use that capital for additional community development projects, or to assist for-profit businesses within their service area.
“The REDLG program is a great partnership with our local Kansas cooperatives to provide support to our rural entrepreneurs and public bodies,” stated USDA Rural Development State Director Patty Clark. “The new fire station will provide the City of Quinter with an opportunity to expand its fire station to better serve residents in Quinter and surrounding communities.”
Since 2008, USDA Rural Development has provided $18.5 million to rural Kansas utility companies for economic development in rural Kansas communities.