ALMONT, ND, Jun 05, 2011 -- The city of Almont is gathering today to celebrate the completion of their new fire hall. Almont Rural Fire District had outgrown their existing fire hall as it was unable to house the Fire District’s equipment and was in need of repairs. Not only was space an issue, but response times dramatically increased as all the equipment could not be stored at one location. Through USDA Rural Development, the Fire District was able to access financial resources to build a new, modern facility.
“Rural Development is pleased to provide financial assistance to help the heroic efforts of North Dakota’s firefighters,” said Jasper Schneider, USDA Rural Development State Director. “This project is a great example of how our programs can assist with the development of essential community services.”
Since 1963, the Fire District has tried to fit into a 1,300 square foot building located within Almont. Outside of town, the district also had a 160 square foot shop. The district owns three fire trucks and two trailers with equipment, but lacking storage space, one water trailer and one fire truck had to be kept outside. This was a serious concern as water and chemicals may freeze if left in the apparatuses. The situation was less than ideal and hindered the Fire District’s ability to respond quickly to incidents. The Almont Ambulance Service also used the facility to store one ambulance, but barely could fit in the building.
The new fire and ambulance hall is a 36’ x 100’ building with 3,600 square feet. It has six garage bays for storage of five apparatuses and one ambulance. The ambulance bay is separated from the other bays by a large meeting room and a handicap accessible restroom. The building is also large enough for the firefighters to conduct training drills. Previously, they had to do all training outdoors or had to wait until the weather was warm enough to conduct particular exercises. Located on the north side of Almont at 510 Dakota Avenue, the hall is positioned on an ideal site to keep the community of Almont safe and provide rural fire protection as the emergency vehicles have easy access to highways 86 and 137.
“This project has been long awaited and there are many entities that made it happen,” said William Bahm, Almont Rural Fire District President and Captain. “A big thank you goes out to our federal and nonprofit backers, but I also want to recognize the local community’s efforts. This fire hall would not have been possible without the City of Almont’s cooperation to secure funding or without the help from local businesses and individuals through their contributions, fundraising work, and the generous donation of property for the facility.”
The Almont Rural Fire District service area is approximately 288 square miles of townships in Morton and Grant Counties with a mutual aid agreement with New Salem, Carson, Flasher, and Glen Ullin. The total project cost is $250,630 with USDA Rural Development providing financing through a $60,910 loan and an $87,720 grant. Lewis and Clark Regional Development Council provided a $60,000 grant and the remaining $42,000 was contributed by the Fire District.