After leaning towards the construction of a single, centralized fire station, the Chippewa Falls Fire Department may keep its staff and equipment housed at two separate locations.
The city commissioned a feasibility study by Five Bugles Designs last year that only looked at options for a single station. The study indicated that the best location for a central station would be in the vicinity of the Northridge Shopping Center on the city’s south side.
But now Chippewa Falls is looking at property elsewhere.
The Chippewa Falls City Council met in closed session Tuesday night to explore the possibility of a purchase of property at 346 E. Park Ave.
Dresel’s Auto Sales is located at that address. Owner Randy Dresel was present for the closed-door meeting.
Chippewa Falls Mayor Greg Hoffman said the discussion was very preliminary; the city hasn’t made an offer on the property.
“But we’re exploring our options,” he said. “My belief is that we need to continue with two fire stations.”
Consolidating the fire department in a single location does increase the response times to certain areas of the city. The feasibility study indicated as much. And Hoffman said that he’s heard concerns from the public about that.
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However, even if two stations are retained, Chippewa Falls still needs to replace the department’s current Station No. 2, which sits at 35 E. Park Ave. That’s where the Dresel property comes in.
If the city did move forward with a purchase of that property, a new large station with centralized offices could be built there. But some equipment and personel would remain at the fire station that sits downtown just behind City Hall at 211 Bay St.