Federal dollars to buy fire engine equipment for Richmond department

RICHMOND — The city’s firefighters will have something new to smile about this fall. A $21,774 federal grant to enhance the city’s firefighting equipment was announced at the City Council meeting Tuesday.

The Federal Wildland Fire Department awarded the grant primarily to improve equipment to fight brush and wildfires; however, the equipment can also be used to fight domestic fires, said Justin Lewis, city recorder.

“We are a small department with a small budget,” said Lyle Bair, Richmond’s fire chief. “This grant is definitely beneficial.”

The funds will be used to purchase new equipment for the city’s main fire engine, Lewis said.

Bair said he plans to buy new hoses, nozzles and their fittings, as well as new personal protective equipment for the firefighters. He said he plans to purchase the new equipment within the next couple months at the most.

Richmond’s volunteer fire department consists of 21 volunteer firefighters, one main engine and six other emergency vehicles. The main engine is owned by the county and is part of an interlocal agreement, which says participating cities in Cache County can share each other’s firefighting equipment and personnel when necessary.

“The county owns (the main engine), but they don’t really step on our toes,” Lewis said.

Bob Hugo, a Richmond volunteer firefighter, applied for the federal grant which was formally awarded in August. Lewis said Hugo applies for many grants every year. Last year he also got the city a $14,560 grant for new fire equipment.

“He gets us our best opportunities for new equipment,” Lewis said.

The council also passed a resolution to request that the state continue to allow Richmond to operate its own municipal court. Every four years the council must request re-certification to allow the city to operate its own court separate from the county court.

Mayor Mike Hall said many cities in Cache Valley choose to operate their own courts and that Richmond has had its own court for at least a decade, probably longer.

“It’s simply a convenience factor for citizens,” Hall said. “This way if a person wants to pay for a traffic ticket, they can come (to the city court) rather than driving to Logan.”

Hall said the city court handles mostly traffic tickets, but can also settle some other issues such as domestic disputes and minor civil suits.

Councilwoman Terrie Wierenga said the city’s court complies with all state and county codes and that she does not foresee any problems with getting re-certified by the state.

In other business, the council:

  • Granted a conditional use permit to a Richmond resident to keep his pet pig.
  • Discussed plans to solve parking problems. The council has safety and aesthetic concerns over some residents parking their vehicles on the sides of some of the city’s roads.
  • Discussed issues surrounding the water supply for the proposed ski resort in Cherry Creek Canyon.
  • Reported that the city’s Harvest Market had unusually high attendance this month. Wierenga said more than 400 people attended the event.

Published in cooperation with the Hard News Cafe. Original story is here.