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Corinth residents should not be alarmed if firefighters knock on their doors in the next few weeks.
Members of the Corinth Volunteer Fire Department will be visiting Corinth homes to conduct a survey concerning a $200,000 grant, which if obtained will be used to construct a new firehouse.
Residents will be chosen at random and can fill out the survey, place it in a sealed envelope and give it back to the firefighter on the same day or residents can opt to mail them in by the end of the month. Pre-addressed envelopes and stamps will be provided to residents opting to mail the survey themselves.
All data, including household income, will be kept confidential.
The Corinth Rural Fire Board, the Corinth Fire Department and the Grant County Fiscal Court are working cooperatively to obtain the grant.
“We’d like to be done with the surveys by July 1,” said Corinth Fire Chief Lonnie Kuhn.
Daylight streams inside the Corinth Fire House from a large crack in the building’s exterior wall. Another crack shows a blue sky outside where the roof meets a wall at the rear of the structure.
Inside where the trucks are housed, two of the Corinth Fire Department’s emergency vehicles are sitting less than a quarter of an inch apart because there’s not room inside if they aren’t nearly touching.
The small department’s home was once used as an ice cream parlor, a dance hall, slaughterhouse and a garage.
“It’s falling apart and there’s no room to expand or money to fix it,” said Kuhn, in March 2012 in a series of articles in the Grant County News that focused on the state of emergency services in Grant County.
Through the years, volunteers with the department have attempted to make improvements to the run-down building. They’ve added a small kitchen and a meeting room. There’s a makeshift workout room and a bathroom that looks as if it’s stuck in the 1960s.
Kuhn, a 28-year veteran of the Corinth Volunteer Fire Department, believes this survey and the grant it could lead to are the answer to a prayer, one that firefighters in Corinth have been praying for years.
“We’re in desperate need of a new firehouse,” Kuhn said, “This one is falling down and is beyond repair and we’re out of space.”
If the department receives the grant, they will build a six-bay fire house to accommodate five trucks the department has now and for future purchases, possibly an aerial truck as funds permit. The building will also feature meeting/training space, offices and sleeping quarters.
“We’re looking at a couple different pieces of property. The fiscal court has said it doesn’t matter where a new firehouse goes, they’re building us a new firehouse,” Kuhn said.
The Corinth Fire Department also received a $100,000 grant FEMA grant for the purchase of a 2,000-gallon tanker truck.
Kuhn said this grant will allow the department to replace a 1972 tanker, which holds 1,200 gallons of water. It is the oldest truck in their fleet.
“It is exciting to be able to better serve our community,” Kuhn said. “The new firehouse is important because it’ll give us more space and allow for a quicker response time because we’re not pulling out a fire truck to get a different one out.”