Pease eyes aid for fire suppression

Pease meetingPease Mayor Diane Kiel is realistic.
“It’s tough in Pease. We have to look in some different directions or we’re not going to be here,” she said.
With that said, Kiel, city clerk Jeff Hanson and members of the city council sat down with Rep. Sondra Erickson and Sen. Dave Brown to work on a plan to ensure Pease’s future.
The city asked for the lawmakers’ help in obtaining a $1.5 million grant to help fund a fire suppression system and $475,000 to complete water hook-ups to properties annexed into the city that have failing septic systems.
“Their response was fantastic, to say the least,” Kiel said.
Erickson and Brown seemed willing to help Pease, and suggested that they could put Pease’s request into a bill in the upcoming legislative session, she said.
“By May 20, we should hear something,” Kiel said.
The lack of a fire suppression system is something that is detracting businesses from locating in Pease. The importance of an adequate fire system was hammered home in the Spring of 2015 when a fire destroyed the facilities of Pease Produce. Responding fire departments had to bring water in by tanker trucks because there were no fire hydrants from which to pump water, Hanson pointed out. A lack of an adequate fire suppression system also hurts new home development because contractors can’t meet current sprinkler codes because of Pease’s water issues, he said.
The $1.5 million the city is asking for would help fund the building of a water tower or holding tanks, fire hydrants and new water lines under the streets of Pease. Not only would a water tower provide water for fire protection, but would provide the city with a minimum of one day’s supply of water in case there is a water emergency in the city.
The city is also seeking funding for a tornado siren, Kiel said. The city does not have one, she said.
“The only way we can warn people is to go door-to-door,” Kiel said.
Kiel said the city is seeking state funding for the projects through the State Legislature because the city, with 242 residents and 90 properties, cannot support a tax increase to fund the projects.