Finding the right place to get the money looks to be the next step in the long process of someday building a new fire station in Elmore City.

Fire chief Eddie Stewart said the next step is to determine where to go for a loan agreement to pay for the project.

“We're at the point where we need financing for our new fire station,” Stewart said.

While updating Garvin County commissioners during a regular meeting this week Stewart said he's checking with local and area banks, while also considering the possibility of finding finances with a federal loan through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Right now the plan is to seek out a loan package financing around $1.2 million, which the chief estimates will involve a 40-year time period.

Plans are to pay off the loan, expected to have monthly payments of around $5,000, much sooner using revenues from a county sales tax evenly divided among all the fire departments in Garvin County.

“That's about half of what we get from the sales tax,” he said about the projected payments each month.

“I see a 20-year payoff, 25 at the most.”

Stewart is quick to add EC's fire department has more than $100,000 now saved up from the tax.

Assistant District Attorney Carol Dillingham said both the county commissioners and town of Elmore City must give the thumbs up before a loan package can be approved.

That's because Elmore's firefighters do get some operational funding from the local municipal government.

“You'll need to to run this through the town council as well. I encourage you to talk to the city attorney about this,” Dillingham said during Monday's meeting.

“Since you do get money from the city you'll need to get their approval.”

Stewart says he believes that OK might need to come from the EC Economic Development Authority.

Although not part of this project, other volunteer fire departments near Elmore City apparently have an interest in teaming up to share some equipment planned for Elmore's new fire station once it's built and operational.

“We're really interested in this because there could be some equipment, like for gear cleaning, that we would share with them,” said Richard McCarty of the Rush Creek department.

“This could benefit all the rural departments in the area,” he said, adding each participating department could share in the expense of this type of equipment.

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