Folks in Ecca were split on how to move forward with the Ecca Volunteer Fire Department.
The push back has lead to the topic being a focal point at Tuesday night’s meeting. It was a call to vote to either accept or reject how to fund a proposed building for a new Ecca fire station.
The department has been raising money for a new fire station and a community center for the last 17 years, and now the community is split on where the department should build the new station.
Here is where it may get confusing.
The proposed building site was actually donated to the department on one condition.
If the land is being used for anything other than a fire station, it will fall back to the heirs.
“We’ve already started construction here. We’ve had this underway for quite sometime,” Ecca Volunteer Fire Chief Gary Young said. “The old-timers and the people that have been around here the longest want to use the money that we’ve worked so hard to actually do the construction with, and others are really adament with about borrowing about $200,000 and keeping the other on deposit.”
Folks in Ecca filling the current volunteer fire station to share their thoughts on the department’s next step.
“All we’re asking is that, that second person, Lowell, our fire chief’s brother would sign over his reversion clause as well and file it with the court house,” Ecca resident Julie Lawther said.
Residents like Lawther fear that the equity used on the building can never be used as collateral due to not having a clear title owner, due to the heirs not being removed from the contract.
“Then this property would be in the running with other properties that have come available or aviable for purchase under market price that could be better locations,” Lawther explained.
However, residents like Dave Caddell said the department should remain on the land that the department has started building on.
“These folks can use every bit of money they’ve got to buy more equipment, more trucks, more bunker gear, you name it. They don’t need to be going out and purchasing land. This is an ideal location. It’s located close to 277, right on 89,” Dave Caddell said.
He explains the contract is sort of a protector for the volunteer fire department.
“If something were to happen and you didn’t have a reversionary clause, you’d just end up woth some vacant land and it’s just kind of an eye sore and didn’t do anything,” Caddell said.
Chief Young tells me that this meeting is the last shot for the volunteer fire department to get their building up.
The meeting took more than two hours, and finally came to the conclusion to remain building on the donated land. The votes were 86 to 20.