REED CITY – The Township of Lincoln Fire Department and the City of Reed District Library have each received grants from the Great Lakes Energy People Fund. With a combined amount of $4,400, both groups will be able to contribute new equipment and amenities needed to better serve the community.
For the Lincoln Township fires, they will be able to purchase six VHF radios and a charging system for ground use. Fire Chief David Belden said the department was previously without this equipment, so the addition is extremely helpful.
“So that will give us a communication link between those on the firing range and the command personnel, as well as our dispatch centres,” he said.
The continued safety of the department’s firefighters is one of the department’s primary goals, and Belden said the equipment will allow them to achieve that.
In previous years, the department has received other People Fund awards, which have helped provide ice rescue equipment. As a relatively new chef since September, Belden said they are looking to catch up on seeking grants to bring in more much-needed equipment.
At the Reed City Area District Library, executive director Melissa Rohen said they would use the funds to expand their outdoor programming space. Being relatively new to her job, Rohen said the library had received People Fund grants in the past, but this was the first she had been able to participate in.
“The way we approach our grant application is that we kind of assess what we need to do to serve our customers better, what we can do to be more inclusive, and what we can do to be the cornerstone of the community,” she said. “So my chairman of the board and I are thinking of ways to make our backyard a little more appealing.”
At present, the courtyard space is currently used for outdoor performances, but there is no outdoor seating or games for families to participate in. The funds they received will be used to purchase a few new picnic tables, one of which will have a chess board built into the table top.
Some additional outdoor games, like giant dice and cornhole, will also be purchased and added to the space. Rohen said the courtyard upgrade will help engage their patrons and show people that their local library is more than just a place where they can rent books.
“We want to actively engage our customers and, of course, literacy is our main focus, but we are much more than that,” she said. “So we hope that by providing additional seating and activities, we can engage our patrons on another level and help them see the innate value of us as a library, but also as a great figure in their community. “
Once the tables arrive, there will be the opportunity for more outdoor programs and activities, but for now, Rohen said several indoor events will be taking place at the library this month. Author Viola Shipman will be visiting on May 14 for a library series called Tea and Talks, and local author Tim Bazzett will be visiting for a Q&A on May 17.
Other upcoming programs can be found on the Reed City District Library Facebook page.