LISBON, ND – Construction is underway on a new fire hall in Lisbon, N.D., thanks in part to a $250,000 community capital loan provided by the Rural Development Finance Corporation (RDFC). Founded in 1994 by North Dakota’s rural electric and telecommunications cooperatives, RDFC helps rural communities grow by offering low-interest financing.

This community capital loan is one of the many ways North Dakota’s electric and telecommunications cooperatives demonstrate the cooperative principle of concern for community,” says RDFC President David Sigloh. “RDFC exists to help rural communities thrive. In emergency situations, a rapid response is critical. RDFC is proud to be involved with a project that will help save lives.”

The new 12,800-square-foot fire hall, located at 1401 Elm Street, will address the space limitations of the current fire hall building. This will improve firefighter safety, permit on-site training and allow for all equipment to be stored at one location. A more functional space with room for expansion, the new fire hall is expected to result in faster response times for emergency calls. Construction is expected to be completed in August 2018.

“With all the projects that the city has going on related to current flood control, previous flood fighting costs, infrastructure and the cost of the new fire hall, funding has been very taxing on our residents. The low-interest financing provided by RDFC has helped reduce the financial burden on the citizens and allowed us to complete a project that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise,” says Lisbon Mayor Tim Meyer.

The Sheyenne Flood Protection Project made the new fire hall a necessity. Following the floods of 2009, 2010 and 2011, the City of Lisbon began working on a flood protection project that will provide permanent protection for portions of the city, eliminating the need for emergency flood fighting efforts. Constructed in the 1960s, the original fire hall stood in the project’s construction path and needed to be relocated. After considering costs and building constraints, the City decided to construct a new fire hall instead of moving the existing building.

The new fire hall will house the Lisbon Fire Department and Lisbon Rural Fire Department. Collectively, the volunteer departments have 41 trained firefighters. The Lisbon City and Rural Fire Protection District serves an area of 334 square miles and a population of more than 3,500.

The Rural Development Finance Corporation (RDFC) is a nonprofit corporation that encourages economic diversification and community vitality through the generation of funding that supports sustainable asset building. Funding for RDFC programs comes from fee income generated by Dakotas America LLC, a community development entity providing New Market Tax Credits in economically distressed census tracks across the United States. The North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives provides support to RDFC.