SENECA, Mo. – The little town that lies right along the Missouri/Oklahoma line have worked since 2015 to build a new fire station in town. And Monday evening, October 24, 2022 was the Grand Opening of Station No.1.
Seneca Fire Chief Tyler Crowe shares with the crowd gathered, “In 2015 the Montgomery Family donated the land for us to build.” In front of the station you can see the large sign above the door to the station that the station is dedicated to Donny Joe Montgomery. His family was on hand to share in the Grand Opening.
Chief Crowe goes on to share that in 2016 citizens of Seneca voted yes on a public safety tax to build the fire station. They broke ground in 2018 by doing dirt work, “and then it was kind of hit-and-miss getting it built.”
It still wasn’t close to being done in 2021.
But last year the Eastern Shawnee Tribe, right across the state line in Oklahoma, came to Seneca and said they wanted to help finish the rest by donating $273,000.
“I am honored that we are able to help Seneca. We realize that there is a supposedly dividing line between us, between Oklahoma and Missouri. But needs don’t stop at that dividing line. The incidents don’t stop at that dividing line. The community doesn’t stop at that dividing line.
I look at that sign that says there are about 2,300 citizens who live in Seneca. And I know for a fact that we have that many people who come to our casino almost every single day. So I know we are using your roads. When we built the casino we were able to use the sewer. You have helped us immensely. So we are pleased there is a time that we could return that, return it in a way that is most-beneficial to all of us.” – Chief Glenna Wallace of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe
The former station will be called Station No.2 in the 500 block of Oneida. It is currently being remodeled and will be shared with the Seneca Police Department.
“One of the questions that is always asked of us, why did you decide $273,000? Why couldn’t it be 250, 275 or why couldn’t it be 300? It was 273 because we asked for the bid to [finish] that building. And that is the bid that Seneca had was $273,000. So that is why we took that bid and we paid that much.” – Chief Glenna Wallace
Chief Crowe tells us having two fire stations will have a great impact on the community. They now have apparatus on both sides of the tracks. “We have trains running through here every 15-20 minutes, this way we have extrication equipment on both sides.” Additionally he says since they are a volunteer department firefighters have to respond to the station and get equipment and apparatus to respond to emergencies, so getting stopped at the tracks takes up valuable time.
Chief Wallace reflects on the generous donation, “I have no doubt there will be a return, whether we are on the Oklahoma side or whether we are on the Missouri side. We are a community and we appreciate everything that you do for us.”
Seneca Fire Station No.1 is located at 124 Washington Ave.
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