HARRIETTA — The Slagle-Harrietta Fire Department received help from a United States Department of Agriculture grant to purchase new radio equipment.
Since January, Wexford County has been running on an 800 megahertz system, which first responders had to make the switch from the high-band system that was utilized in the county. While the transition was slow leading up to the countywide switch, it left many of the county's smaller fire departments having to make the upgrades to an 800 MHz system.
One such department was the Slagle-Harrietta Fire Department.
Fire Department Board Secretary/Treasurer Carol Hasse said the department recently was notified it was awarded a grant from the USDA to go toward the purchase of the 800 MHz radios and pagers. She said the cost for the 800 MHz gear and activation was $10,536.72 and the grant received covered $7,800. Chemical Bank also donated $200, which left a balance of $2,536.72 for the village to pay.
A few years ago, Hasse said the department was awarded a matching grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for turnout gear and she will be applying for that again sometime this month to help purchase more gear. She also said the department will apply to the USDA for air tanks and two fire trucks have been purchased with the help of funds from the Steve and Maxine Lazar Trust Fund.
"The USDA grant (for the 800 MHz equipment) meant a great deal to us. Our budget could not have afforded us the required radios," she said. "This was my first big grant and I was relieved to receive it. Like I said, I will continue to write more."
Hasse, who also is the treasurer for the village, said a block-long section of sidewalk near the fire department along West Gaston Avenue was recently replaced. She also said this spring and summer the village is scheduled to have four streets within the village resurfaced this construction season.
These four projects include North Michigan to Prospect Avenue, West Campbell Avenue west of Davis Avenue, West Garland Street west of Davis Avenue, and North Davis Avenue north of Campbell Avenue.