Blackfoot Valley Dispatch - The Blackfoot Valley's News Source Since 1980

By Roger Dey
BVD 

Cleanup day at Station 4

 

Roger Dey

Billy Cyr carries a wheel rim to the bucket of Gary Weisner's tractor during the clean-up.

Lincoln firefighters and volunteers spent most of the day Saturday cleaning out the Lincoln Rural Fire District's new Station 4, just north of the main fire station on Stemple Pass Road, The LRFD purchased the building and the adjacent property between the two buildings in 2019.

The building, which was formerly home to Chris Waits' Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts', and before that Chris' Repair & Tune Up, will serve to house some of the Fire Department equipment currently housed about five miles east of town at Fire Station 3. It will also serve as the site for any public meetings the Fire District has to hold, including their monthly board meeting. Currently the Fire District board meets in the main fire hall, but the room used for the meeting is also used to store the firefighters gear, including their turnouts, which can carry carcinogens picked up during fires.

Work on improvements to the building began earlier this year. The ceiling joists were reinforced, new garage doors were installed and a door frame raised to accommodate the department's large water tender "Big John." Work had been put on hold to give Waits time to remove his belongings that remained there.

Waits, who had battled health issues in recent years, passed away in May.

Roger Dey

Zach Muse and volunteers Rick Williamson and Gary Weisner are silhouetted as they consider the drop ceiling installed in the building.

A singer and pianist as well as a mechanic and logger, Waits had converted the building into the Lincoln performing Arts Center in the mid 1990's, complete with a large stage and control room for performances. His intention was to turn the building into a hub for musical performances and recitals. A handwritten plan found in the building indicated he hoped to create an organizational board that would help it become a venue for performing arts, workshops, art auctions, special events and fine arts festivals.

Under state law, the items that remained in the building had technically become property of the Fire District, since they hadn't been removed within a specific time frame following a notification letter, so the district moved ahead with work on the building this month.

Lincoln Fire Chief Zach Muse said the building needs some additional upgrades before it can be put into full service, including wiring for internet access, plumbing work and improvements to the air and ventilation systems.

 

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