Grant funds awarded to build fire truck garage in Sitkum

Thanks to the efforts of many people, a federal Block Grant of about $445,000 will build a vehicle garage in Sitkum that will house one fire truck.

Community volunteers conducted an income survey of residents in 2015 that established that the fire district was eligible by income. Coos County Commissioners sponsored the grant application. Margaret Barber, representing CCD, an economic development nonprofit in North Bend, helped write the grant application.

Mark and Shirleen Stoller have offered to lease a site on their property. The lease would run for 50 years at a cost of $10 per year. To prepare the site, an unoccupied house will be removed, and many truckloads of fill will be brought in to make the site level with Sitkum Lane.

Having a fire truck housed in Sitkum will allow the department to speed up its response to fires in Sitkum, and it will give that part of the district a truck at the ready to put out a fire, even if the one-lane road in the gorge is blocked by a landslide.

Before construction can begin, there will be contracts to sign and an environmental review to complete. We are hoping that the building will be ready to use by January of next year.