VENETA, Ore. — The building worked in the thirties, when firefighters build it, but to say it’s working for the 2012 staff is a stretch.
“It’s somewhat embarrassing to have somebody working in this kind of facility. The only heat source is there’s a wood stove there in the back. In the winter time it can take several hours to heat up, so he’s working in the cold, it’s not cooled in the summer, it’s just pretty raw,” said ODF Forrester Link Smith.
Link Smith says up until four days ago, this was where the station mechanic worked every day, and right next door is the garage, but the holes in the roof and drafty windows kind of defeat the purpose of sheltering the engines. It’s clear this building needs a complete make-over, but after decades of unsuccessful applications for state funding, Smith says his district couldn’t wait any longer. The staff was able to sell all its other properties and save enough money for a new shop, with no government help.
“We will pretty much spend every dollar we made on our property sales, and it does feel good to say we’re going to move forward with the building and you’re not going to see everybody’s tax dollars at work. This is something I think, through some good past management and a little bit of luck we’re able to move forward,” said Smith.
Smith says there’s a special sense of accomplishment in this project, not only that they’re able to do it all on their own, but that this all falls on the district’s one hundred year anniversary.