Ridgeway Fire Dept. in search of funding

By Kate Klimesh,

Representatives of Lincoln Township and the Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Department approached the Winneshiek County Supervisors Aug. 7 to request support for the purchase of a new fire truck for the department. 

Their current truck is from 1995 and is in need of replacement. Ridgeway Fire Chief Mark Carolan noted they had been raising funds for several years and had a good portion of the anticipated $440,000 cost of a new pumper truck, but asked if the county could help. 

The group noted they hadn’t anticipated that much inflation on the cost of the fire truck, and currently had approximately $190,000 of the cost unsecured. 

“We will have to borrow some of that and have worked with the bank on a good rate, but the less we have to pay back, the better,” stated Kelvin Rue.  

There are currently seven fire departments in Winneshiek County, but 14 fire departments will respond to fires in the county with mutual aid from surrounding counties, including Minnesota fire departments.

Due to the anticipated length of the truck’s construction, it was estimated any support from the county would be in the 2024-25 fiscal year, and the group was thanked for their volunteer service and as encouraged to come back to the supervisors at a later time, closer to the budget period.

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