Request to study second Beaver Dam fire station moves forward
The Beaver Dam Common Council will consider whether to fund a study about building a second fire station.
The city’s police and fire commission approved forwarding the request from Fire Chief Alan Mannel on Tuesday.
Mannel has been lobbying since at least 2016, for a second fire station address the fire department’s needs for more staff power to as development continues on the city’s north side and the population ages.
He has said a new station would cut calls time to the north side dramatically. The current fire station south of downtown, while much of the city’s recent development has taken place on the city’s northern edge.
An ad hoc committee about the fire department’s needs also signed off in moving in this direction. Mannel is ultimately pitching a referendum to pay for the new station and staffing needs.
“We talked about the school referendum. We talked about other referendums that have been put through,” he said. “The ones that passed overwhelmingly had documentation and support from outside experts, a transparent objective, a look from the outside, not just what I think we need or what any other members of the fire department or Common Council think we need or don’t need. It’s someone who has expertise in the field.”
The city is already done with its budgeting process for 2019. Mannel said the funding could come from the department’s inter-facility transport program, where the department brings in revenue by transporting patients between hospitals for a fee. He said the program has 72 calls over 2017 so far with $21,000 in net revenue.
The request to the council will be seek a request for proposal from firms to conduct a study, including how much they would charge.
A space needs study from 2008 said there may be a need for another fire station and suggested that, at that time, the department was pushing its geographic limits.
Since then, more new development on the city’s north side has expanded the city boundaries, including two new apartment complexes and an industrial park with a second industrial park proposed even further to the north.
The city’s 2019 budget includes funds for an additional full-time position in the fire department. The department is also looking ahead to the possibility of a new training center.