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Skyline VFD gets $500,000 grant

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The Skyline Area Volunteer Fire Department is pleased to announce that they have recently been awarded a Community Development Block grant in the amount of $500,000. for the purpose of building a new and improved fire station.  The grant comes through the South Central Ozark Council of Governments (SCOCOG), a non-profit organization serving as the Designated Economic Development District and the Regional Planning Commission for the seven counties in South Central Missouri. Their representative, Jessica Paulk, has been assisting the Skyline VFD with project development efforts and grant application writing. The Douglas County Commissioners were enthusiastic supporters of the project, which also includes a water well for the department. That will eliminate the need for firefighters to fill their truck’s tanks by visiting nearby ponds or streams. The purpose of the new station is to provide the growing community with a sustainable, reliable fire department. The new station will allow the department to house all their trucks and firefighting equipment. A new training space will give volunteers a better place to train and will facilitate public education functions such as CPR, basic first aid, and fire safety classes. The firefighters believe that the new facility will entice more volunteers to join this vital organization that has been protecting life and property here since 1982.

SCOCOG will continue to serve the community as the project’s grant administrator.  Ms. Paulk will be working with the Skyline VFD and civil engineer, Joseph Heberlie. 

Mr. Heberlie’s firm, The Missouri Engineering Company, has done the engineering and designing work, and prepared the architectural plans. The next step, according to Ms. Paulk, is the completion of the environmental review. She says this may take a few months as a long list of organizations such as the Fish and Wildlife, the EPA, The Missouri Department of Conservation, and many others, must respond to the proposal. Thereafter, they will solicit bids from General Contractors in the area.  

This venture has been some time in reaching this point and the VFD membership is pleased to see some genuine progress being made. 

The next project may be finding resources for a 3,000 gallon storage tank.  That will allow the 1983 pumper truck to be filled quickly. The newest truck in the firefighting fleet is in good shape still because the volunteers maintain it and all their equipment well. That truck is older than several of the firefighters, but younger than most of them. The new firehouse and well will make things better and easier for them. They have taken the time from their normal lives to train themselves as first responders to health and environmental emergencies.  They leave their jobs, supper tables, and beds to come to the aid of their neighbors. So, thanks to them and to SCOCOG for their service to the community.

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