Brandon Volunteer Fire Department faces funding cuts - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Brandon Volunteer Fire Department faces funding cuts

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The Brandon Township wants its volunteer fire department to accept a new $12,500 a year contract.

That's a $4,000 cut from recent years. And it's not sitting well with the Brandon Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief.

The departments wild land truck needs to be replaced every 15 years but if funds are cut, Fire Chief Gary Lembcke says they won't be able to replace it.

Chief Lembcke says the department's ability to provide services will decrease if the cuts go through. Renner and Valley Springs' fire departments would likely be assisting Brandon on calls.

"Normally we look at time is precious and if they're sending departments that are farther away, it's going to be a longer response," said Chief Lembcke.

With the rising costs of equipment, fuel and utilities, the department would have to scale back on what Chief Lembcke calls essential upgrades.

"We need all the tools that we need in our tool box right away. It's not like we can run to the hardware store and pick something up. We need to be ready when the call comes in. Our job is to protect citizens. Life safety is number one and we're going to do what we have to but we'll probably have to do it on a slimmer budget. So we're going to have to cut equipment," said Chief Lembcke.

Times are changing for the Brandon Township and the budget is tighter than years past.

Leo Heggen served as a township supervisor for more than 40 years. He says road projects are forcing funding cuts in other areas.

"We do have some roads in the township that need work on but you get a lot of traffic that it's just hard to keep up with the gravel roads," said Heggen.

"It takes a lot of money to keep all this running. It's astronomical," said Chief Lembcke.

There is a meeting Tuesday evening in Corson to discuss the proposed changes. It starts at 7 at the Mighty Corson Art Players. Everyone is encouraged to attend to voice their opinions.

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