New Firehouse for Lake Silkworth

LEHMAN TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Luzerne County just announced a grant that will help rebuild a volunteer fire department in need of upgrades in the county's Back Mountain.

The Lake Silkworth Volunteer Fire Department has been trying for years to rebuild its firehouse.

A $600,000 federal grant will now turn that wish into reality.

Earlier this year, we told you about the Lake Silkworth Volunteer Fire Department's fundraiser to build a new firehouse.

After months of fundraising, a nearly $600,000 federal Community Development Block Grant will help the department finally get its new building. Luzerne County handed out the money.

"Luzerne County is thrilled to announce these grants. This is all federal funds there are no Luzerne County taxpayer dollars at risk here," said county manager David Pedri.

The new firehouse is expected to be built near the existing one in the next two years.

"Overwhelmed, excited, this is real. I mean, it's here. Now we're going to have a new building," said Lake Silkworth Fire Chief Jerry Walker.

The firefighters say one of their main concerns about their current building is that it is almost on top of Route 29 which makes it difficult for them to get their firetrucks out.

"We'll have a parking lot where we'll actually be able to pull out and see the traffic on both sides. As for here, we can't. We have to creep out," Walker said.

The current building is also too small for all of the department's equipment. The fire engines are parked bumper to bumper inside.

"Quicker response. This facility now, if we needed an engine or a tanker, we don't have to take other apparatus out first to get to that apparatus," Walker said.

Ross Township is also getting a $375,000 grant for road improvements.