The Kuna Rural Fire Protection District is holding a public hearing for community feedback on changing its name.

The fire district’s current name is Kuna Rural Fire Protection District. The fire district board of commissioners would like to drop the word “Protection” from the district’s name, making it Kuna Rural Fire District.

The public hearing is 7 p.m. Feb. 14 at Kuna Fire Station No.1, 150 W. Boise Street.

The issue of the fire district’s name, according to the district’s attorney Bill Gigray, came up when the fire district received documents from the sale of Kuna Fire Station No. 2.

Gigray explained that back when the fire district consolidated with Desert East Fire Protection District, which owned station No. 2, the name became Kuna Rural Fire Protection District at the time of consolidation in 1988.

The original name of Kuna’s fire district, according to Robin Ward, was Kuna Rural Fire District. Ward, an office administrator for the fire district, said that is the name the fire district has been using on its equipment, stationary and legal documents.

This information was shared at the Jan. 3 fire district board of commissioners monthly meeting.

Following Gigray’s explanation of the need for the district to clarify its name, commissioner M.G. “Bud” Beatty Jr. opened the floor for discussion.

TO BE OR NOT TO BE RURAL?

Commissioners quickly and unanimously agreed to have the fire district’s name to be Kuna Rural Fire District.

“We are a lot of years away from not serving rural areas,” said commissioner Mike Smith. “We don’t want to scare those people (who live in rural Kuna).”

“I like Kuna Rural Fire District,” Smith continued. “But then I live in the country,” he added with a chuckle.

Cpt. TJ Lawrence said that, from discussions, at least some firefighters would like to see the word “rural” taken out of the district’s name to make it Kuna Fire District.

One firefighter commented that the fire district and Kuna as a whole are pushing for growth, are seeing an influx of people moving into the area.

“We’re starting to move away from a rural setting,” he said. “Some people don’t like it, who live in the country, but if that’s the direction and growth we are pushing for …”

Ward brought up that if Kuna Rural Fire District became Kuna Fire District the fire district would have to change all its documents like health insurance information and IRS documents for all staff members.

“I could give you a list stuff out there,” Ward said. “It’s not like we can just change the name on our stationary. It’s a pain.”

Commissioner Tim Crawford said he agreed that the fire district area is growing fast but he also agreed with commissioners Smith and Debbie Vogel that leaving the word “rural” in the name would be better for the fire district because embodies the rural district and community.

“I hear where you guys are coming from from a professional perspective,” commissioner Crawford said to Cpt. Lawrence. “I think there will a time where we drop that (rural part), but for now I think there’s a lot of people that still believe (we) are rural … and people are moving here because it still is.”

“I think they like the rural setting but not necessarily the fire district’s name,” Lawrence responded. “If it said Kuna Fire Department, they don’t know the difference but I know what you’re saying.”

Commissioner Beaty said the district might be better off staying with “rural” in its name — Kuna Rural Fire District — for now, then, in the future, when all of the fire district’s supplies are nearing an end, that would be the most cost effective time to change the district’s name to Kuna Fire District.

“That seems to make sense to me,” Beaty said. “Whether that’s next year-end or sometime … this doesn’t seem to be that hard.”

Alx Stevens is the reporter for Kuna Melba News. Contact her at 208-922-3008 or editor@kunamelba.com.

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