Fire departments get windfall
Marion and Lincolnville fire departments got a late December windfall from an unexpected source.
Each, along with Burdick and Chase County fire departments, got $5,871 from an organization that disbanded in November after 20 years’ inactivity.
Preserve the Heartland, formed in 1990 to oppose a planned 100,000-acre expansion of Fort Riley, disbursed remaining funds to fire departments in the area that had been under consideration for expanded tank training.
In addition to not wanting to see land removed from tax rolls, Nancy Hite, former president of Preserve the Heartland, had personal reasons to oppose the plan.
“My parents’ land was part of that land that was going to be taken,” Hite said.
The organization didn’t put stipulations on use of the money, so fire departments can use it as they see fit.
“We’re saving it for some bunker equipment.” Marion fire chief Mike Regnier said. Lincolnville chief Les Kaiser said he’s still hoping county commissioners will fund needed 800 MHz radios the department needs and has not decided yet how the money will be used.