Renovated building will allow unit to better serve community
MAYSVILLE, Ky. (Oct. 31, 2014) – The Fernleaf Highland Volunteer Fire Department through the Mason County Fiscal Court has received significant funding to assist with future improvement projects.
The $500,000 Community Development Block Grant awarded to the Mason County Fiscal Court will help the fire department acquire and renovate the Lykens Distribution Center located at 3197 AA Highway in Mason County – a 10,400-s.f. building.
“As a former mayor, I am very familiar with the needs of firefighters and those they serve,” Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson said. “Modern firefighting resources and equipment are an absolute necessity in ensuring both firefighters’ safety and their ability to quickly and effectively respond to service calls. This new location for the Fernleaf Highland Volunteer Fire Department station will provide a modern fire department that’s able to better serve its community.”
The Fernleaf Highland Volunteer Fire Department is responsible for serving approximately 421 households and several businesses and factories in western Mason County, stretching from Maysville to the Bracken County line.
The current fire station is only 1,440 square feet and cannot accommodate all of the equipment required for use by the unit. In addition, the current facility’s bay doors are not large enough to accommodate the department’s fire trucks, limiting the ability of the unit to securely park their fire trucks inside the building.
The station has been prohibited from purchasing new fire trucks to serve the growing number of businesses and factories due to the inability of larger trucks to fit into the doors of the current fire station. The current fire station provides no office space and training rooms for the firefighters to conduct organized meetings and operational drills.
The Lykens Distribution Center already contains finished interior office space, training rooms and Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible restrooms. The facility is equipped with public water, sewer and all electrical utilities. The building currently has two large garage doors at each end of the facility.
The Fernleaf Highland Volunteer Fire Department plans to make minor repairs to the wooden door frames and light fixtures.
The new fire station building will allow the fire department to store all of its equipment and resources in a single location, and accommodate future growth of the unit.
The Mason County Fiscal Court will be responsible for insuring and paying tax costs associated with the new building. The Fernleaf Highland Volunteer Fire Department will own the facility and be responsible for the operations and maintenance of the new facility.
People’s Bank of Maysville, who owns the building, is offering to donate $100,000 of the appraised value of the building as a discount to the fire department, reducing the sale of the building from $650,000 to $550,000 for the fire department. The Fernleaf Highland Volunteer Fire Department will secure a $65,000 loan from People’s Bank for the remaining cost of the project.
“When there is a fire or an emergency situation, time is of the essence,” said Sen. Walter Blevins Jr, of Morehead. “Volunteer fire departments provide the reaction time necessary to stifle a burning home, rescue victims and salvage valuables in rural communities. Mason County is fortunate to have volunteers who are willing to leave the comfort of their homes at a moment’s notice to ensure the safety of their community. It is important that these volunteers have the proper equipment and facilities. I am pleased to help obtain funding for improvements to the Fernleaf Highlight Volunteer Fire Department that will better meet the needs of the volunteers and the community.”
The state’s Community Development Block Grant program is administered by the Department for Local Government and funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Kentucky’s Congressional leaders’ ongoing support of the Community Development Block Grant program ensures the availability of continued funding in Kentucky and nationally.