Loyd Star VFD eyes substation for Caseyville

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Caseyville residents will soon have faster responses from theLoyd Star Volunteer Fire Department with the establishment of asubstation there.

“This is something we’ve been trying to do for 10 or 15 years,”said Kirk Douglas, president of the fire department.

The department received a huge boost in its efforts recentlywith the donation of one acre of land just north of Highway 550 onCaseyville Road by the Mike Warren family, Douglas said.

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“The Warrens have voluntarily cleared the land,” he said.

At Tuesday’s board meeting, Lincoln County supervisors approvedthe substation and agreed to do the dirt work and foundation.

“We hope to get started on the dirt work and foundation by theend of January,” Douglas said.

However, it may still take quite some time for the station to bebuilt, he said. The fire department is still raising funds forconstruction of the metal building.

A special fund has been established at the Loyd Star station forthe Caseyville station’s construction. Donations for the newstation are welcome by contacting Douglas at (601) 835-7491.

Although the command structure of the new station will belocated in Loyd Star, Douglas said it would be staffed primarily byvolunteers from that area.

An organizational meeting for the new station was held inDecember, said Lincoln County Fire Coordinator Clifford Galey.

“There were quite a few people from that community at themeeting who want to be firefighters and first responders,” hesaid.

The Caseyville station will be initially provided a 1,000 gallonpumper and a 1,500 gallon tanker from the Loyd Star station,Douglas said.

The establishment of the Caseyville station will make Loyd Starthe third district to have two fire stations. Bogue Chitto andZetus also have two stations.

The Heuck’s Retreat Fire Department is also working toexpand.

The department has two potential locations, both on donatedproperty, at Fair River and Lake Lincoln. The department needs morefunding to move forward at either location, Galey said.

In a separate fire issue, a public hearing to discuss thecreation of a Hog Chain Fire District passed in relative obscurityat the county board meeting Monday.

Following the hearing, the board approved the creation of thedistrict, which is a non-taxing entity that allows the departmentto seek a lower fire rating.

A lower fire rating means residents of the district will payless on their fire insurance premiums, Galey said. Before that canhappen, however, the district must be re-evaluated by the staterating bureau, he said.

“They will have to come down to do the final inspection and makethe grading decision,” Galey said.

The Zetus Fire District was created late in 2006 and is alsoawaiting a visit by the rating bureau.

The Bogue Chitto, Loyd Star and East Lincoln fire departmentsare also seeking the creation of a fire district, Galey said.Progress is being made in those areas, but it is a slowprocess.