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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
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October 28, 1999     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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October 28, 1999
 

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6 SPIRIT OF JEFFERSON Farmer's ADVOCATE -Thursday, October 28, 1999 Q I is what it takes to make dreams come true. Even communi dreams like a state-of-the-art fi station for Charles Town. t~ 1, So you'll understand the situation fully, soon you'll receive information in the mail concerning this urgent community need. It explains how CITIZENS FIRE COMPANY is werking out of obsolete facilities - built 40 years ago - that actually impede its operations. The building is one- quarter the size the firefighters need to function. It has no parking, no train- ing areas, no bunk room, no community facilities, and a cramped, sub- standard kitchen. CITIZENS outdated facility makes it hard to fight fires as well as difficult to attract qualified volunteers. It's a Matter of Dollars and Sense to keep our fire company by volunteers. But without adequate facilities, CITIZENS will have hard time recruiting and retaining the 45 volunteers it needs to its 25 sq. mile service area and assist regional fire Responding to more than 600 fire calls a year takes a lot of trained power and expensive equipment. We don't need to pay a professional company. CITIZENS FIRE NY has done an excellent job (along with other volunteer companies) tecting local lives and property for 115 years. That's why Charles Town one of the best insurance ratings available - saving every business, try and homeowner on property insurance costs. By providing our teers with the facility they need, we won't face additional property taxes insurance rates increases. Our economic development can also continue provide local jobs because we have the essential fire service in place. Who Supports Our Volunteer Company? CITIZENS CAMPAIGN 2000 is a grass-roots effort launched last September by a Steering Committee of 40 community leaders. CITIZENS FIRE COMPANY has already invested $280,000 of its savings in a 7-1/2 acre lot and architectural plans for the new station and the Steering Committee is dedicated to helping it raise the construction costs - esti- mated at $2,500,000 for a state-of-the-art facility that will address the present and future needs of the community. The new site of CITIZENS Fire Company is located on the old Jones Farm at U.S. 340 and S.R. 9 in Charles Town. This ideal location affords the fire trucks accessibility to Charles Town as well as the new areas of residential and industrial development. Look for CITIZENS' sign. The Phase I Goal is to raise $1.25 million from the community and break ground in the spring. That's why we're asking every business and house- hold to give whatever they can for the benefit of the whole community. Remember, your donation is tax-deductible. With just over 10% committed in early pledges, we still have a long way to go in a short time to help our volunteer firefighters (and ourselves). CITIZENS only receives 19% of its $278,000 operating budget from ernment sources. The rest it has to raise from the community. Year in year out. This means that in addition to 100 hours of training - prior becoming an active firefighter, our volunteers spend tremendous of time raising operating funds - from bingo, pancake breakfasts, fair cessions, and tag days. Then they have to go away for annual training to maintain their active status with the state fire board. This is a lot to of volunteers - some of whom already work more than one full-time How many of us would give this much time to the community and risk lives in the most dangerous job there is? In recent years other fire stations in Jefferson County have upgraded their facilities with capital campaigns. Now CITIZENS must do the same not to keep up with the Joneses, but to fulfill its mission to the community. A lot has changed in 40 years. When our community built CITIZENS' current station four decades ago, few of us imagined the growth that Charles Town and the region would experience. The demand on our public services from this residential growth and industrial development requires periodic capital investments like this one in our volunteer services. Did you realize that the estimated cost to operate a comparable paid fire company would top half a million dollars a year? Plus, we'd still have to build them a new station. So you can see why we must fund this station for our volunteer company. If we don't, CITIZENS cannot continue to pro- vide the outstanding service we take for granted. Where Do We Stand Today? In this 2-phase campaign, we need half money by spring. The key to the Campaign's success is your Every dollar counts. We have received early pledges from our Steering Committee of $181,500. Please consider making a generous tax- deductible contribu- tion so our volunteer firefighters will know that the community is 100% behind them. An early steam fire engine purchased b CITIZENS FIRE COMPANY for $9,000 in 1919, Our slogan says it all. Please don't delay in sending in your check. We need the whole community to show its special kind of love for the community. Your contribution ensures our safety and shows your appreciation for the volunteers who protect us - 365 days a