Lewis Fire Station Ribbon Cutting


January 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held this (Tuesday) morning in Lewis, for a new fire station that’s been over three-years in the making.

Lewis Fire Station, Jan. 2012

Lewis Mayor Don Cohrs said the preliminary design for the station was approved by the City Council in October 2009, after they took into consideration the costs and space required. When a committee was formed, it was determined the facility needed to be 6,500 square feet, if it was to store all the equipment necessary to respond to emergencies. Cohrs said the project got off the ground when the City applied and was approved for, a nearly $281,000 I-Jobs 2 grant, through the State of Iowa. Cohrs said in addition, with a grant from the Lewis Fire Association’s Building Fund, and funds from the City, the project was completed at a cost of nearly $420,000.

The Mayor said the City benefitted while construction was underway, from all of the construction crews who spent their money in town, at the local convenience store, café and Post Office.

Former IA Gov. Chet Culver listens as Lewis Mayor Donny Cohrs talks about the new facilty

Cohrs credited former Governor Chet Culver with creating the I-Jobs initiative that made a significant impact in financing, not only for the Fire Station project, but other needed projects within the community as well. Governor Culver, who was in attendance at the event, congratulated the Mayor and other City officials who worked long and hard to see the process through.

Culver said the purpose of the I-Jobs initiative, was to help eastern Iowa recover from the floods of 2008 and other natural disasters that year. He said they discovered during that process, that there were many communities with needs that had gone unmet, because funding was not available through Federal agencies. That’s when his administration created the Iowa Jobs and Infrastructure concept, the best part of which, he says, involves no taxpayer dollars. Instead, the money comes from bonds paid off through 17 casinos in the State.

Former Gov. Chet Culver talks about the I-Jobs Initiative in Lewis

Culver said the second part of the I-Jobs program was added to help communities with major infrastructure projects not associated with the floods and disasters. He says the result was a State that was transformed and modernized, and that includes the small community of Lewis.

Culver said people who put their lives on the line, like firefighters, deserve the most modern facility and equipment possible, so they can do the very best job possible.