Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Folks that live closer to the Union Light community than the Lincoln Volunteer Fire Department may now feel a bit safer after the grand opening of the Lincoln VFD substation, or "Station 2." It's the first fire department in Edmonson County that now has two stations.
The Lincoln district has faced challenges over the years, with some areas seeing up to 20 minute response times from firefighters in emergency calls, due to the amount of land coverage in district. The new station allows better access to the district residents, while being mostly funded through grants.
"We started in 2015 when I first approached (former) Judge Wil Cannon about what we wanted to do," said Lincoln VFD Fire Chief Steve Sanders. "We applied for a grant and were awarded $250,000 with about 25% coming in matching funds from the fire department, but when we bid it out, it came in over budget, so we had to back up and regroup."
Chief Sanders said they reapplied about a year and a half later and were then awarded $500,000 in grants, but with rising building costs, the bid price was still too much for the department to handle. Finally, through the pandemic and after the last application process, the department was awarded $800K with the bid being accepted for $913K.
When all was said and done, the fire department now owns nearly a million-dollar facility for $167K out-of-pocket expense.
The new station houses their newest truck, purchased around 2018 that was too large to fit in the main fire department.
While the ground-breaking was in July of this year, the entire process has been eight years in the making. Sanders said there are many Lincoln residents that live outside of the five-mile limit for home insurance discounts.
"I had a guy call me yesterday that has a place in Sunset Harbor. He asked if the firehouse was in operation yet and I told him yes and told him about the open house. He was happy to hear it because he was going to let his insurance company know, because that was big for him."
Many homeowner insurances offer discounts for living in close vicinity of a fire department.
Sanders thanked all the community members in attendance for their support of the project over the years, in addition to the BRADD Office, Judge/Exec Scott Lindsey and staff, architect Nick Sewell, Scott, Murphy, and Daniel Contracting, all the contractors that worked on the job, the Lincoln VFD Building Committee, and all the fire department members.
The station is located at 2450 Union Light Road, Mammoth Cave, 42259.