By Vi Waln
PARMELEE, SD – The Grand Opening of a much welcomed building to house the fire trucks and equipment belonging to the Parmelee Fire Department was held on Tuesday.
“I want to thank all the firefighters today,” stated Susan Kary. “Many have other jobs so they couldn’t be here today but they are here when the whistle blows announcing there is a fire.”
The new fire hall is named after Mrs. Kary, who was instrumental in bringing the project to the Parmelee Community. Under her leadership, the fire department and community were able to access the financial resources required to build the support needed for the project.
South Dakota USDA Rural Development provided funding for the project totaling $120,000 through a $55,000 Community Facility Direct loan and $65,000 Community Facility grant, along with other funding including a $10,000 applicant contribution, and $145,000 Community Development Block Grant from the State of South Dakota for a total project cost of $275,000.
The fire hall, which took six years to become reality, will be home to the Parmelee Volunteer Fire Department. Several agencies and groups such as the Todd County Commissioners, State of South Dakota, Todd County Emergency Management, Rosebud Sioux Tribe-Tribal President and entities, Bureau of Indian Affairs, South Central RC&D, South Dakota Department of Agriculture, and the Central South Dakota Enhancement District were involved in bringing forth this project.
“To have a fire department in Parmelee is a great thing,” stated Cyril Scott, President of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.
The old fire department was housed in a one stall garage and was donated space for their one truck bought back in 2008. The new fire hall is a 42’ X 57’ foot pre-engineered building with three bays and portion of the facility will be made available for community functions. The 20 person volunteer fire department serves a population of 1,188.
“It was really the community who pushed me,” stated Elsie Meeks, Rural Department State Director. “It takes a lot of people working together to see a project like this through.”
Pastor Utecht offered prayers to open the day. Lunch was served to all who attended.