A project that could save residents money while increasing public safety was explored during Monday’s Uintah County Commission meeting. Representatives from the Uintah Fire District attended the meeting as funding was once again explored to see a Maesar Fire Substation become a reality. According to Fire Marshal Jeremy Raymond, the Maesar area has 495 residents, not including Painted Hills or Dry Fork, who live 5+ miles from the closest fire station in Vernal. The average response time to these homes is 8 to 10 minutes posing several issues, largely in the form of higher insurance rates for those residents. According to Raymond, homes within 5 miles of a fire station can save as much as $500 dollars per year, which is an average savings of 42 percent, compared to homes more than 5 miles from a station. This means a Maesar substation could save residents as much as a quarter million dollars on insurance premiums alone while lowering response time and improving safety for the entire area including Dry Fork Canyon. The Community Impact Board has awarded $239,000 dollars in grant funding for the project, leaving the County with approximately $150,000 dollars to come up with. The Commission said funding is difficult at this time but that they would take the project under advisement.