State funding sought for new fire station

WESTON – East Umatilla Fire and Rescue is housed in a 100-year-old building in Weston and doesn’t have the money to build a new home. Chief Dave Batey recently hosted Umatilla County Board of Commissioners Chairman John Shafer, Sen. Bill Hansell (R-Athena) and Rep-Elect Bobby Levy (R-Echo) for a tour.

“They showed the old station off, and the inadequacies of it, and then the idea behind putting in a new fire station,” Shafer said. “Rep-Elect Levy said, ‘You had me sold when I walked in the door.”

Shafer said the need is obvious with today’s bigger firefighting equipment.

“They have apparatuses in there and there’s literally inches between the front bumper and the roll-up door,” he said. “They can’t walk around them.”

The current building is old, but it was remodeled to become the fire station in the late 1990s. Shafer said a new building would allow the district to offer sleeping quarters to students who are training to be firefighters. He said that the three on the tour are now committed to work for state funding for a new building.

The district already owns four acres of land so it’s estimated it will cost $3 million for the building.

Photo supplied by Juan Avila and East Umatilla Fire and Rescue