BEATRICE – After several years in discussion, the Barneston Rural Fire Protection District will be getting a new building. Construction has been started on a new fire hall in the southeast Gage County Village, located just east of a cramped former gas station the district has been using. Goossen Construction, of Beatrice is doing the project. It’s located on property where a hatchery once operated.
Barneston Rural Fire Board Chairman Tom McGuire says the project received a Margaret and Martha Thomas Foundation grant, and will use private donations and financing to complete the structure, estimated at $280,000 to $300,000. McGuire says the village started out with a city fire department back in 1956, when Barneston was home to about a half-dozen businesses.
:17 “here in town”
Barneston Rural Fire District has five trucks…a pumper, three brush fire trucks and a water tender. One truck is kept in the village of Liberty, which the district also serves. One truck sits outside the Barneston department, all the time.
:16 “that estimate”
On occasion, the department also provides mutual aid to northeast Kansas fire departments at Summerfield and Oketo, just across the state border.
Fire Board member Mark Hroch says the new building will be 60-by-90 feet, with most of the bays facing south.
:22 “similar to that”
McGuire says the building will also include room for training purposes. Barneston Rural Fire Board Secretary-Treasurer, Elton Boyer says the district hopes to start using it, yet this year.
:10 “before winter”
Hroch says the idea for the new station surfaced about ten years ago.
:23 “good fire department”
McGuire says the district receives great support from area residents in the way of donations. The new fire hall is a project that will carry some debt, paid off partly by tax revenue within the district. Volunteer firefighters have helped raise money toward the project. Coupled with the Thomas Foundation grant, another $80,000 to $100,000 will be needed.
Coming up on Sunday, July 15th, The Barneston Rural Fire Protection District will hold a Fire Prevention and Safety Day at the City Park, from noon until three p.m. There will be kid’s games, fire truck rides, demonstrations, duck races, free hamburgers and watermelon.