FEMA pulls the plug on new Hardin Fire Station

Once again the brakes have been put on Hardin’s new fire station.
Hardin Mayor Bob McCorkendale said last week the city received a letter from the Federal Emergency Management Agency advising not to move forward with construction.
At issue iS the height of the foundation for the station. According to flood level regulations, the wall is about three feet short of the requirements.
McCorkendale said the city is working to set up a meeting between McCorkendale, FEMA representatives and Hardin Rural Fire Protection District Board President Donnie Blankenship.
“It seems like everytime we take a step forward, we have to take two steps backwards to satisfy the government,” McCorkendale said.
Last month the city thought it had worked out a deal that would allow the construction to move forward. The only hang up was final approval from FEMA. McCorkendale said the letter from FEMA indicated that construction should not proceed. With that in mind, McCorkendale said the city cannot issue a building permit to the district.
There is also hope that federal flood plain levels will be lowered this year when new maps are released in May; however, McCorkendale said he has been told that hearings could delay the map’s certification for up to a year.
“Hopefully cooler heads will prevail and we’ll get that dropped,” he said.
If the levels are dropped three feet, as some expect, the project could proceed as is.
McCorkendale said if the district wants to proceed with construction, the matter would be between them and FEMA.
“It’s out of the city’s hands at this point,” he said.

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