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Sunday - February 4, 2018 6:43 pm

Fire station planning task force recommendations likely moving toward analysis phase

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City planning staff will look at the recommendations but La Crosse fire chief Ken Gilliam will likely have a pretty big say in how the city moves forward with recommendations from a fire station planning task force.

Having five stations, rather than four, is one of the recommendations he backs.

What the task force has recommended won't be easily achieved.

Along with the outline of recommendations calling for building an entirely new fifth station, it would also like to replace the three other stations with new buildings and make a new public safety building for police, fire and inspections.

"This opens up the ability for the staff to look at it and come back with some solutions," city council and task force member Doug Happel said. "There are so many pieces involved here."

Gilliam said setting priorities is key and the 80-year-old Station 4 on Gillette St. is at the top of his list.

"We would like to push forward with looking at potentially the same location or a different location for that Station 4, knowing that we have to keep an operation," he said. "But start working on a Station 4, but at the same time, start looking at the addition of a fifth station on the south side."

Final cost estimates are unclear, though a report from a consultant early last year tagged updates to old fire stations and building a fifth station at $28 million.

"I think, as we get that north station completed and the south station issue resolved, it gives us a little more lead to time to look at the remaining stations in the middle," Gilliam said.

The newest of La Crosse's four fire stations are 50 years old.

"On the north side, those stations up there are about as old as old can be," Happel said.


The full city council next week votes on putting staff to work on analyzing task force fire station recommendations.



Last modified on Sunday - February 4, 2018 7:40 pm
Mitch Reynolds

Mitch Reynolds is the News Director at Midwest Family Broadcasting. He covers the internecine agonies of La Crosse city hall. He really likes basketball.

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