The Zearing Fire Department will receive much-needed structural and emergency service improvements after the Story County Board of Supervisors approved a $5,300 facade grant request on Tuesday.
The project looks to address two main concerns for the Zearing Fire Department: its deteriorating building and a relocation of its EMS vehicle and services.
Additionally, the project allows the fire department to consolidate all of its emergency services into its Main Street building.
According to the application, without improvements, the existing building had a shelf-life of up to 10 years, and costs for such an endeavor would have been outside of the city’s financial threshold.
Among the issues listed with the current structure are deteriorating walls, a failed gutter system and an inadequately installed vapor barrier system that was causing long-term damage to the structural integrity of the 39-year-old building.
Funding from the grant will allow the department to relocate the station’s EMS vehicle and convert an existing emergency bay at its Main Street location to provide more centralized access to northeast areas of the county.
Currently, the emergency vehicle was stationed in a structure within the Minerva Creek flood plain. According to the application, volunteers spend considerable time maneuvering the vehicle out of the small structure, thus elongating the unit’s response time.
Due to its proximity to Minerva Creek, the vehicle is also inaccessible during floods.
Attempts to reach the Zearing Fire Department for comment Tuesday were unsuccessful.