CHESTERFIELD, Mo. – There’s more elbow room for the Monarch Fire Protection District to spread its wings, thanks to Missouri American Water Company.
“We’ve donated three acres with a lease of another two acres because they have a training facility out here,” said Debbie Dewey, president of Missouri American Water. “We’ve been renting the land to them since 2001. They wanted to make some more investment to have a closed classroom space and do some other investment and they were wondering how long they could continue to lease the land and we decided it’s the right thing to do to give them the land and they have it to invest in and grow their program.”
Proving that fire and water do go together, Friday afternoon there was a ribbon-cutting and ceremonial handoff of this piece of land, the current training tower facility at 911 John Pellet Court in Chesterfield.
“We wanted to expand our training facilities but were unable to because the lease was a year to year lease after the first 10 years,” said Robin Harris, president of the Monarch Fire Board. “Trying to find five acres in the middle of Chesterfield that is going to be available for a reasonable price is quite difficult. What we were able to do today, essentially no cost, $10 to taxpayers, is acquire the land to build a permanent facility that will be used for decades to come.”
Since 2001, the Monarch Fire Protection District—which serves Chesterfield, Clarkson Valley, and parts of Ballwin, Creve Coeur, and Maryland Heights—has been leasing the space from Missouri American Water for $100 a year.
But the new deal gives the three-acre parcel to Monarch Fire Protection District who will build classrooms and a training facility that will open in a year’s time.
“Yeah, I don’t know, you fight a lot of the fire without the water. So, it’s very important to us to continue to invest in the in structure to make sure we have the water and hydrants are working when they need it but also this portion to make sure they’re well trained. But we also provide firefighter grants to help them buy equipment. But it’s something you said something that goes hand in hand, fighting fires with water.”