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Midwest, Edgerton Seek Firefighting EQ Dollars

Fire fighting equipment doesn’t fit very well into the fire hall in Midwest and two of their trucks have been downgraded after 30 years of service.

The towns of Edgerton and Midwest are both in sore need of a firefighting  upgrade.  Recognizing their need  the towns are looking for the dollars to make it happen. Grant writing is part of that process and the Natrona County Commission on Tuesday agreed to help out with $8,000 to get the process going.

$8,000 is  the estimated cost for grant writing that will hopefully bring in around 1.5 million.

Natrona County Commissioners offered little hope for more at the meeting Tuesday.

Midwest resident, Everitt Dewitt, had preliminary architectural drawings in hand as he described the situation to commissioners, “Right now we have two old buildings that are just too small. We have five bays total and we have seven pieces of equipment. Two of the pieces of equipment are parked behind walls. To get those out, if we need them, we have to move at least one other vehicle to get it out of the building.”

Dewitt says early construction estimates for a fire hall that would serve both towns on the northern edge of Natrona County is around $1.14  million.

The two cities are about 40 miles from the closest Natrona County Fire District station, underscoring their need. As for equipment, currently they’re running two pumper trucks also over thirty years old…

“The two pumper trucks that we have, one is a 1979 and one is from 1983. They’re both experiencing some mechanical difficulties. Stuff wears out and so we want to replace one of those with a new structure pumper truck.”

Cost for that; around $260 thousand.

Dewitt says they’ll be approaching the State Lands and Investment board along with the USDA and Grants for Fire fighters.  Those granting agencies will  likely require 50 percent in matching funds.

Dewitt says they hope to have the dollars secured and construction and truck purchases underway within the year.

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