Ash Grove Fire Protection District buys land for new firehouse, may sell current building

The Ash Grove Fire Protection District recently purchased land where someday their new fire station will be located. Anthony Monnig, fire chief, said they bought eight-and-a-half acres at Crestview and Farm Road 68 for $51,000. The district closed on the land on Friday, Oct. 11.
Monnig said the department was anticipating building a new fire station sometime in the future, but they didn’t expect to purchase the land so soon.
“To be honest, this kind of came out of the blue,” he said. “We weren’t expecting to buy property this fast, but once we found that and realized how good of a location that was going to be for us, we didn’t want to wait anymore.”
Monnig said the district hasn’t had a chance to draw up plans for the new building, but one feature he’d like to see is a new dayroom.
“Right now, the guys’ dayroom is in the bay,” he said, “which means they’re breathing fumes pretty much all day that they’re here. It’s not a safe environment, and so we’d like to have a dayroom that is separate from the bays.”
There are other features Monnig also hopes to see included in the new building.
“We’d like to have a couple of bathrooms, that’d be really nice,” he said. “A couple of showers would be nice. And, a couple of offices would be good. That way, the guys who are studying for classes … have someplace to get away from everything. We would like to have bunkrooms, but that is something we could add later if we can’t have them right out the gate.”
A new building would also eliminate existing problems with the current building; problems which are simply too expensive to fix.
“We have water that just free flows through the station whenever we get heavy rain,” Monnig said. “And that has to do with the drainage ditch (which) we can’t control; that’s the city’s. And then also … the amount of concrete work, the amount of dirt work, and then the diverting everything, it was just going to cost too much money compared to what we could do by just (starting) over.”
While the department has the land for their new fire station, Monnig estimates the building itself is still at least two years away while the district works to secure the funds to build it.
“We’ve got a couple of different ways we can go,” he said. “We could go with a grant, or we could go for a bond. Or, we could just try to pay it out of our existing budget. Now, our budget is relatively small as far as fire departments go, so we are going to have to seek some kind of outside funding.”
The important thing to remember, Monnig said, is that the new location will allow the district to function in ways they can’t in their current location.
“We’re just moving to a better location for the future additions, training grounds,” he said. “There’s a lot that we can do with that (which) we just can’t do here.”
Monnig added that the old station will likely be sold once the new one is built.

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Lawrence County Record

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Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712
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