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Bigfork Fire Board buys land for new station

by Mackenzie Reiss
Daily Inter Lake. | June 26, 2020 1:00 AM

The Bigfork Rural Fire District Board recently purchased an 8.5-acre parcel of land from Carol and Ronald Pierce to serve as the future home of a new fire station.

Bigfork Fire Chief Mark Thiry said the existing station, located at 810 Grand Drive, is roughly 50 years old and was never intended to house staff, as it does currently, with two rooms for overnight crew members.

“They managed to secure land at a reasonable price so they scarfed it,” Thiry said. “There’s no plans for anything within the next several years.”

He said there are “a lot of ideas floating around” regarding a new fire station, but stressed that the department is in the very preliminary stages of the project.

“They ran into a really good deal and the people that sold the property were very, very generous to the fire district,” Thiry said.

The Pierces deeded the tract to the fire department May 22, according to the Flathead County Plat Room. The land is located near the intersection of Chapman Hill Road and Montana 35. According to minutes from the fire district’s March 31 meeting, the board approved the purchase of the Pierce property at approximately $29,000 per acre, with interest estimated at around 2%. Payments will be made over a three-year period.

At the June 2 Board of Adjustment meeting, the board made time to hear public comment on the land purchase. The sole person who commented was Chany Ockert, who spoke in favor of the department’s land purchase. Ockert is a member of the Bigfork Land Use Advisory Committee but voiced her opinion to the board as a private citizen.

Reporter Mackenzie Reiss may be reached at 758-4433 or mreiss@dailyinterlake.com.