Monroe given greater fire service with new station
When Monroe Volunteer Fire Department chief Russell Cook ponders over all of the uses for his community’s new fire station, he is amazed at the list.
In addition to much more room for vehicle and equipment storage, the new facility will also serve as the town’s government hall, complete with offices and storage for local town workers and records.
“With enlarged and more classrooms, we have the capability to host various meetings and seminars,” said Cook. “We have room for speakers and lectures. There are various things going on out there. Since we are in the middle of the county, we could hold some of those meetings now.
“The kitchen is our bread and butter,” continued Cook. “We get a lot of our contract money from fundraisers such as suppers and various meals which could originate in the kitchen.
“This is a warming kitchen; we don’t do any cooking in here,” continued Cook. “Food can be cooked in broilers or barbecued outside and then brought into the kitchen for fundraising dinners.”
The first fundraiser to take place in the new facility will be the soup supper scheduled for Nov. 2 from 4-7 p.m.
“That is going to be an exciting day to have our first fundraiser in this new station,” Cook said. “We have two new restroom facilities, men and women. Each is handicap accessible and has a shower.”
Cook said that a pad has been laid for a foundation for another building in case the department feels that more space is needed.
The cost of the new station is $625,000.
“The town gave us five acres of ground and we are going to give them office space,” said Cook.
In order to build the facility, the fire department took out a loan that will be paid by donations and fundraisers.
“Our firefighters work hard to keep this thing afloat,” said Cook. “We believe that over the years we can maintain our equipment and still make payments on this building. There are people out there that will come through for us. They always have.”
Because the town of Monroe has always been supportive and generous with the fire department, the department has given the village one-fourth ownership of the building.
“When we got our last fire truck, we had a large amount of support for the fundraisers from the Amish community,” Cook said.
Cook said that one of the more aggressive fundraisers will revolve around the sale of bricks toward the project.
An open house for the new facility will occur on Oct. 20 from 1-4 p.m. Firefighters plan to be into the facility full-fledged by the end of November, Cook said. Each year, the department has at least two breakfasts, soup suppers. For the first time this year, there was a golf outing.
“We are so grateful for the partnership of the town in this. We always help each other out,” Cook said.
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