published Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Cagle Fire Hall project resumes in Sequatchie County

Jonathan Martin, left, and Jonathan Shirk position a piece of wire mesh inside the new three-bay firehall at Cagle Volunteer Fire Department Thursday. The crew from Spencer, Tenn., was preparing to pour concrete flooring for the community sponsored building. "We have trucks outside that need a place," said Fire Chief Joe Long. But the department has run out of money as of recent and work is just beginning again. The last week of December was when work on the framed structure stopped, until Thursday, according to Martin. Fire department is located at 8230 State Route 8, next to the Cagle Community Center, atop Cagle Mountain in Dunlap.
Jonathan Martin, left, and Jonathan Shirk position a piece of wire mesh inside the new three-bay firehall at Cagle Volunteer Fire Department Thursday. The crew from Spencer, Tenn., was preparing to pour concrete flooring for the community sponsored building. "We have trucks outside that need a place," said Fire Chief Joe Long. But the department has run out of money as of recent and work is just beginning again. The last week of December was when work on the framed structure stopped, until Thursday, according to Martin. Fire department is located at 8230 State Route 8, next to the Cagle Community Center, atop Cagle Mountain in Dunlap.
Photo by Tim Barber.

HOW TO HELP

The Cagle Volunteer Fire Department is hosting a country breakfast Saturday at 6:30 a.m. CDT at the Cagle Community Center next door to the fire hall project. Also, tax-deductible donations may be made by contacting Fire Chief Joe Long at joelong380@gmail.com.

DUNLAP, Tenn. -- Spring will bring some warmer temperatures for crews working on the Cagle Volunteer Fire Department's new fire hall in Sequatchie County.

Fire Chief Joe Long said concrete will be poured Wednesday, barring inclement weather that could stall plans as it has through the winter months.

Long said a crew of Mennonite workers from Van Buren County just last week was able to get started back on the work at the 60-foot-by-80-foot structure that will include three bays for the department's three firetrucks.

"We haven't been able to hit a lick since the last week of December," crew member David Shirk said on Thursday.

Long said wet, snowy and cold weather brought the project to a halt, but he hopes it'll be back in full swing through summer.

The hurdle now is money.

Sequatchie County gives the department $10,000 a year, which goes toward fuel for the trucks and utilities, the chief said.

"We figured it out yesterday, and we need about $21,000 to get it [the building] dried in," or enclosed against the weather, Long said Monday. Meanwhile, two of the three firetrucks must sit outside in the weather, he said.

The project has been funded entirely through donations, without taxpayer money, Long said. Now fundraising will be aimed at erecting walls and the interior of the building.

Long said a larger building will allow the department to take on more response capabilities and improve services for the Cagle community.

"Our community has really, really helped us a lot," he said. The department covers about 180 homes in an area of about 50 to 70 square miles.

"We're going to get there. It's just a matter of time before we have the funds," Long said. "We have breakfasts every month, and a lot of [fundraiser money] comes from beating feet."

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6569.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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