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Water Board Accepts Grant From Barona, Sycuan

A non-matching fund grant of $210,000 was accepted by the Ramona Water District Board of Directors July 10.

Ramona Municipal Water District (RMWD) Board of Directors has accepted a $210,000 grant given to the fire department by the Barona Band of Mission Indians and Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Nation.

At the district's meeting on Tuesday, EMS Coordinator Jack Wethey presented the board with the non-matching fund grant, which was awarded to the fire department after Battalion Chief Burke Kremensky applied for it back in March.

Wethey said the casinos were looking for applicants "who work together with them," to award the money.

"We asked for a non-matching fund and they agreed," Wethey said at Tuesday's meeting. "We have a good-working relationship with them."

The money will go toward the purchase of a new ambulance for Ramona. The town's fire department currently has three ambulances: two front-lines and one reserve. The reserve ambulance is constantly in need of maintenance and a current front-line ambulance is due to be put in reserve.

"We need to have a reliable backup ambulance," Wethey said. "We don't want to have just one ambulance in front."

The new ambulance will be active, with the oldest front-line ambulance making its way to reserve. Wethey told Ramona Patch the grant-funded ambulance, which will be custom-built, will be ready in six to eight months.

Secretary Red Hager motioned to accept the money for the new ambulance. All board members approved.

Darrell Beck, vice president of the board, thanked the firefighters for applying for the grant and suggested giving Barona, which neighbors Ramona, a banner of thanks from the community.

The non-matching fund grant for the new ambulance relieves residents from paying higher rates and fees, as no money from the town is now needed to pay for the cost of the vehicle.

Other highlights of the meeting included Water Board President Bryan Wadlington announcing his plans for re-election and Dave Barnum, water district general manager, announcing the new information forms given out to residents in their most recent water bills.

The district's next board meeting will be July 24 at 2 p.m. at the Ramona Community Center.

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