Rural Fire 1 Board Discusses Finances, Potential Aid Agreements

A close up of a map of Hill County showing the boundaries of Fire Districts. Everything in green outside of city limits is considered to be under the jurisdiction of Rural Fire District 1

HAVRE, Mont. (NMB) – The Hill County Rural Fire District 1 Board convened on Tuesday morning for their regular monthly meeting.

No action was taken, but the meeting began with public comment from Commissioner Diane McLean, who said she wanted to “plant a seed” to see if the Board would be interested in helping the Fair Foundation with projects to upgrade buildings and grounds so that they are able to meet fire code.

“You don’t have a lot of things that you spend money on: training or fire trucks or whatever. And maybe you have plans, I don’t know. But the Foundation is trying to upgrade the Chuckwagon to meet the fire code, and it strikes me that maybe the hydrant that’s needed out west for one of those buildings … Would the Fire District consider partnering with to help those upgrades happen so that those fire codes would be met?”

Board member Neil Larson worried that such an arrangement would set a precedent for the Board to get involved with financing improvements to other deficient buildings in the District.

“The hydrant, I don’t know about that. But as far as helping an individual building…I think that sets precedence that we’re funding code update. That would be my thoughts.”

Board Chair Steven Jamruszka said he would like to see an actual plan regarding Fairgrounds improvements before continuing the discussions.

“When we see something, we’ll be able to maybe take a harder look at it. But in the absence of a plan, I would have difficulty being able to say yes.”

McLean says the Foundation is expecting to receive quotes back for proposed improvements.

According to their financial report, the Fire District had a balance of just over $475,000 as of November 27th.


Other items discussed at the meeting:

  • Jamruszka says they are continuing to figure out work on writing up proposed interlocal agreement contracts with local volunteer fire departments that would allow them to provide assistance in RF1 in situations where the Havre Fire Department is unable to provide services.
  • Jamruszka says the District continues to have three vehicles in their possession – a 2001 Dodge flatbed, a 1978 International semi, and a 1970 International fire truck – that they will put up for bids once they are able to find the titles. These vehicles need significant work on them to function, and Jamruszka says if there are no takers, they could offer them for free to other rural departments or sell them for scrap

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