• 59°

Harlan Co. receives $500K grant for fire station construction project

FRANKFORT — The Department for Local Government (DLG) announced a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) allocation for Harlan County to fund the construction of a new fire station.

“We are excited today to announce $500,000 in CDBG grant funding for Harlan County,” said Gov. Matt Bevin. “Our Department for Local Government works closely with local officials to address priority projects that will most positively impact their communities. This significant investment is based on those discussions and will enable vital emergency services facility improvements to be made.”

The Sunshine Volunteer Fire Department (SVFD) serves over 4,000 customers across 140 square miles. Over the last eight years, the SVFD has absorbed three other volunteer fire districts and maintained an ISO rating of 4, resulting in lower insurance rates for the rural area.

The current fire department facility is located in the basement of a 3,200-square-foot building that houses the Harlan County Community Action Agency, which lacks sufficient room to house the current emergency vehicles and service equipment. The facility’s bay doors are two feet below street grade, which causes rainwater to enter the building during and after rainfall. The SVFD facility does not have space for maintenance of emergency vehicles nor room for training of emergency personnel.

This project includes the construction of an approximately 6,500-square-foot fire station at the corner of Sunshine Park and Duffield Street in the city of Harlan. The proposed new facility will house eight emergency vehicles and will provide the necessary space to perform maintenance and general cleaning after each run. The new facility is located to provide better emergency response times to the community.

The new facility will also provide a training area, additional equipment storage, secure storage, office space, and restrooms. The site of the new fire station is located on a one-acre lot that allows room for maneuverability of current equipment as well as future expansion for new equipment.

“This project is vital to the public safety of the community, and this new fire station will keep first-responders safe by providing the department with the space it needs to train and operate,” said DLG Commissioner Sandra Dunahoo. “Additionally, the fire department anticipates that the new training facility will help improve response times and help volunteer firefighters better assist the community’s most vulnerable residents.”

“Public safety is a critical issue and should always be a top priority,” Rep. Chris Fugate said. “The construction of this new fire station will provide our first responders with the resources they need to serve this community.”

“Our first responders do a great job of serving this community. They deserve a quality facility and I can’t think of a better way to invest these community grants than bolstering our public safety efforts,” Rep. Adam Bowling said.

Community Development Block Grant Program

The CDBG program, overseen by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, provides assistance to communities for use in revitalizing neighborhoods, expanding affordable housing and economic opportunities, providing infrastructure and/or improving community facilities and services.

DLG is an arm of the Office of the Governor dedicated to supporting local officials and communities. To learn more about opportunities available through DLG, visit http://kydlgweb.ky.gov/.