Thriving, prosperous communities and nonprofit organizations are essential to the strength of our region. To build that strength in its service area, Nodak Electric Cooperative awarded $2,000 in grants to Gardar Township Hall and Adams Rural Fire District through the Rural Development Finance Corporation (RDFC).
RDFC provided the grant funds in order to make more people aware of its larger loan program that funds community-based projects and nonprofit entities with low-interest financing.
The Gardar Township Hall project received $1,000 through Nodak Electric that was used for expenses related to a major renovation effort on the 100-year-old building. The building was moved this fall to a new, structurally sound foundation where several projects are set to begin.
As a lifelong resident of the township, Nodak board chairman Paul Sigurdson is happy to see the town hall being brought back to life. He remembers when the building was bustling with community dances, civic organizational meetings and school basketball games.
“I’m afraid there wouldn’t be anything left of Gardar if the township hall had gone,” Sigurdson said. “It’s kind of a nostalgic place. We would use it for all sorts of community events and clubs.”
Residents believe the building can once again be the heart of the community. So far, about 75 percent of the $50,000 fundraising goal for Phase 1 of the project has been reached. In addition to moving and stabilizing the building, funds will be used to install new doors and windows, re-side the building and replace the roof.
Phase 2 of the project, which is estimated at $55,000, would include the installation of bathrooms, kitchen facilities, electrical upgrades and a heating system.
The project wouldn’t be possible without countless volunteers who stepped up to provide expertise, labor, materials and other services. Resident Dawn Eckhardt has been coordinating donations for the project locally and through a GoFundMe page. She is also keeping people informed through Facebook.
“It’s been amazing to see the number of people not just locally but all over the country who are connecting with the project and sharing stories,” Eckhardt said. “We already have people contacting us about when it will be ready to start holding events.”
New Adams fire department
The Adams Rural Fire District also received a $1,000 grant to help construct a new 6,250-square-foot fire hall on Main Street. Nodak Director Luther Meberg presented the check to Fire District Board President Jody Erickson this fall.
“Every little bit helps,” Erickson said. “It keeps our costs down, and we’re very thankful for that.”
The $300,000 project replaces the town’s existing fire hall that was built in the 1960s. Space limitations were a driving factor in building new, a decision that received strong support from the community, Meberg said.
“There were height issues with the fire trucks,” Meberg said of the existing building. “They could barely get them inside the door. The place was jampacked.”
The new fire hall will have plenty of room to work on vehicles and has a dedicated training area for the 15-20 volunteers and the associated quick response team. The new building provided an added bonus to the community, as a new mechanic shop will soon open in the old fire hall.
“It’s a very cool project,” Erickson said. “Filling a hole on Main Street in a small town with something like this doesn’t happen very often.”