Sullivan County Democrat
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YOUNGSVILLE’S FIREMEN PLAYED an active role in the renovations to their firehouse – volunteering their time to help keep the project going. Above, Past Chief Lee Ellmauer, far left, and Assistant Chief Tom Bose, right, were working with Sullivan Structures’ Todd Panich, center, on one part of the job.

Firehouse Adds On
Without Tax Dollars

By Jeanne Sager
YOUNGSVILLE — March 29, 2005 – Perhaps now more than ever, the Youngsville Firehouse is a community building.
When the fire company purchased a new mini-pumper a few years ago, they realized they’d run out of room.
“We got the newest truck, and it literally didn’t fit in that little room,” said Commissioner Joe Nosek.
“And we had no place to work on our trucks,” he added. “If we had to work on them, we had to pull them outside, which isn’t very handy in the winter.”
The fire district initially decided they’d need an addition, and they advertised for bids.
“But we didn’t get any,” Nosek explained. “It wasn’t a big enough job for the big guys, and the little guys didn’t want to touch it because of prevailing wage . . . it’s a municipal project.”
So the fire company itself decided to take over – taking the project out of the hands of the taxpayers.
“We decided rather than push the envelope at the taxpayer – they’re overtaxed enough, and they’ve always been good to us when we needed to buy a new truck – that we’d do it ourselves,” explained Dave Kuebler, president of the fire department.
What happened over the next year and a half was “amazing,” Kuebler said.
People came out of the woodwork to help the fire department – donating everything from labor to concrete.
Businesses and contractors like John Bernas’ Sullivan Structures, High Country Welding, Rebel Construction, RJ Electric, Kohler Lumber, George Fulton Surveying, Krum and Son, JB Mak Building and Rental Center, and Troy Apblanalp all donated at least a portion of their services to the department, and prisoners from the Woodbourne Correctional Facility were on hand for everything from insulating the new structure to painting.
With the volunteer work completed by the firemen themselves and a strip of land donated by Charles Tremper, Kuebler surmised a $100,000 job cost the department a total of $35,000.
The 40’ by 40’ structure gives the department six truck bays – room to work on their trucks, even space for their antique pumper.
Meanwhile, the Ladies Auxiliary called on John and Isabel Mulvihill to help refurbish the fire department dining hall – and they donated a portion of the work as well.
With a new siding job – also done with a partial donation from All Side – the renovation to the firehouse is just about done.
And it was all done without leaning on the taxpayers, Kuebler said.
“When we were in a pinch, people came out and helped us,” he explained. “It’s a very expensive undertaking to donate all that – it’s amazing.
“John Bernas doesn’t even live here; and Troy Apblanalp . . . even his parents and his kids came down to help.”
The money that was expended by the department came from savings – money collected at department dinners and pancake breakfasts supported by the community.
The department is planning an official open house this summer, in conjunction with a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the company.
But Nosek said people should know now what their support and money have built in their own community.
“The fire department and ladies auxiliary are very proud of the space for the equipment, and the looks of our modern-looking social hall,” he said.

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