The Livermore Fire Department was awarded $500,000 for renovations and upgrades on Tuesday by the Kentucky Department for Local Government in a special announcement delivered by DLG Commissioner Sandra Donahoo.
In her nearly four years as commissioner, Donahoo said the DLG has assisted in distributing close to $700 million to fund projects throughout the state.
"Taxpayer dollars … they're not our dollars to give to you. They're your dollars that are coming back to you through taxes that you paid," Donahoo said.
In determining which projects to fund, the DLG has to look at what is the most beneficial for Kentucky in making it a better place to live and encourages business and industry growth.
"Your fire department has been working there doing the best that they can do with the minimal resources that they have," Donahoo said. "I'm very impressed in the way the station looks, but I can certainly see how you as a fire chief have challenges."
The Livermore fire station, built in 1922, is certainly in need of upgrades. Fire Chief Thomas Brown said the department will use the extra funding to make the station, not only more efficient but also a nicer, more inviting place that better engages with the entire community.
"On behalf of the fire department and the City of Livermore, and McLean County, we're grateful that you all took a notice in us and noticed the need in the community to help us out with this project," Brown said.
He said that while the fire department wanted to build a new fire station, there were not enough funds available.
"You just have to take what you can get," Brown said.
According to Donahoo, the state has seen a significant increase in employment rates, jobs available, investments and exports over the last four years.
"Kentucky is moving and we're moving in the right direction and our commonwealth is thriving and getting better every day," she said. "There're new opportunities … we will see businesses and industries expand out into rural areas."