Chippewa Falls (WI) Places Priority on Fire Station

A new fire station is being pushed by members of the Chippewa Falls City Council to near the top of the city’s to-do list.

While no concrete plans have been made, the council is taking a serious look at what needs to be done to get the Chippewa Falls Fire Department a new home.

Currently, the city uses two fire stations. Station One at 211 Bay St. is just behind City Hall. Station Two, which has a pole shed-type construction, is at 35 E. Park Ave., on the south side of the Chippewa River.

Chippewa Falls Fire Chief Mike Heplfer said that there wasn’t any turning around Station Two.

Station One, though in better shape, is cramped and could use some updating as well.

Recently, the council heard a presentation from Five Bugles Designs, an engineering firm that specializes in fire station design, about possible options for building a new station. Until now, the conversation has remained rather casual.

Five Bugels has returned information on scenarios where the city keeps two stations, as well as option of moving into a single centralized station.

So far, the city is leaning towards keeping two fire stations. If so, the fire department would keep and upgrade the current Station One and then build a new fire station elsewhere. The new station would then become Station One, housing the majority of the equipment and all the department’s administrative offices.

Whether the city goes with one station or two, the likely location for a new station would be in the vicinity of the Northridge Shopping Center on the city’s south side.

A new fire station could cost around $5 million. And the city would likely have to bond (long-term borrowing) for much of that cost.

The next step in the process will be for the city to get firmer numbers on what a new fire station will cost. At that point, the issue can be sent to the city’s finance committee to be bonded.

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