KENNETH CITY — The first thing Pinellas Park did when it took over fire service to this town was to make its fire station livable.
Now Pinellas Park wants to make it safer.
The cost: $72,000. Most of that — $57,600 — would be paid by a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The remaining $14,400 would be paid by Kenneth City.
The money would be used for an emergency power generator, a smoke and fire alarm system, and an overhead automatic sprinkler system.
If Pinellas Park receives the grant and the improvements are made, it would bring Station 16 up to the standards of other fire stations run by that city.
Station 16, at 4600 58th St. N, across the parking lot from the Kenneth City Police Station, was built in 1957 and is the only fire station staffed by Pinellas Park firefighters that does not have those safety systems in place, said Bob Bray, that city's community planning director.
The safety improvements would be in addition to the approximately $60,000 already spent on rehabbing and buying furniture and other fixtures for Station 16, which had not been used as a fire station since the mid 1990s. Kenneth City is scheduled to repay that amount in $5,000-a-year increments.
Bray said Pinellas Park thought it was fair for Kenneth City to pay all or part of the $14,400 match if the grant is awarded "since the improvements would remain with the building at the end of our existing fire protection service agreement."
Kenneth City had a volunteer fire department until the mid 1990s. The town disbanded the department and contracted for service with the Lealman Fire District, which supplied service until last fall when the Lealman fire board canceled the contract because the town had annexed properties within the fire district.
Lealman and Kenneth City attempted to settle their differences but were unable to do so and, in February, the town signed a 10-year contract with Pinellas Park.
Reach Anne Lindberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8450.