The Elk Valley Rancheria has plans for the old firehouse on I Street.
Typically an Indian CDBG would be used for tribal needs, but Crista Stewart, director of grants for the tribe, said that they decided to work with the city this time around. In the past, Community Development Block Grants the Rancheria received have gone toward tribal necessities, like construction of new homes.
“We thought we’d partner with the community,” Stewart said. “It’s important that we keep that station running smoothly.”
The station, which is the closest one to the Rancheria and generally responds to incidents there, fills the need the tribe has for fire services.
“Because the tribe doesn’t have its own fire department, we rely on the services of the city,” Stewart said. “We looked at not only tribal needs but also community needs.”
The proposed upgrades include a new ventilation system, energy-efficient lights, no-slip floors, commercial washer and dryer units, ADA improvements, as well as facility upgrades for the kitchen and training/conference room, which will get some new audio/visual equipment. Those rooms will be renovated to serve larger crowds, Stewart said.
“We want the kitchen to be able to serve 40 people. It’s tiny right now,” she said, adding that the envisioned facility would be great not only for disaster response but for recruiting as well.
“We’d have a nice place for (volunteers) to go, and it would keep recruiting up,” she said.
There’s also a new “Type 1 Fire Apparatus” — that’s a fire engine — that the grant would go toward purchasing. The new truck will replace an old truck from the ’80s and would come fully equipped.
“It’ll roll into town ready to go,” Stewart said.