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Gladstone could see new fire hall within 2 years

GLADSTONE -- If all goes well, construction of a new fire hall for the Gladstone Consolidated Fire District could begin next fall.

At the district's annual meeting Friday at the KC Hall in Gladstone, Fire Chief Joe Wanner told The Dickinson Press that the construction on the $450,000 facility could be complete six months after building begins.

Wanner believes that the fire district will be able to fund the project on its own, using money in savings and the funds generated from the sale of the current fire hall, which could go up for sale once the construction begins.

Plans are for a 150-foot-by-60-foot fire hall to include a meeting room, a place to park the fire trucks in and a second level that would be available for firefighter training.

"It's going to be a pretty basic wood structure building," Wanner said. "But, though it will be basic to start with, it will also give us room to expand it would we need to later."

Maureen Roden, Gladstone's auditor, said the fire district tried to apply for grants last year, and said the amount of money in the area made the district unqualified to receive them.

Wanner said the fire hall presents challenges for the firefighters because of the lack of space.

"It inhibits our ability to grow for where we need to be at," he said.

A resident asked Wanner if he thought now was the best time to build the fire hall, wondering if it would be possible to find a qualified contractor.

Wanner assured him that steps toward building the fire hall would be taken with care and consideration of such issues.

"I think we're well on our way to making this a reality in two years when we have the money put together," he said. "The building we have designed is pretty basic, but it can be scaled down to fit our budget if we have to. We've done the planning first and made sure it is all right. That's about all we can do."