Dickinson Parks and Recreation Board works toward new fire stationAn additional fire station is one step closer to being built. On Monday at a Dickinson Parks and Recreation Board of Commissioners meeting, city officials and Park Commissioners agreed to work together on a property that may serve as the best spot.
By: Sean M. Soehren, The Dickinson Press
An additional fire station is one step closer to being built.
On Monday at a Dickinson Parks and Recreation Board of Commissioners meeting, city officials and Park Commissioners agreed to work together on a property that may serve as the best spot.
The location is on 21st Street West across the street to the south of Century Apartments. The land is under the control of the Park Board, but it has not been developed.
The Fire Department works out of the Central Station and Fire Chief Bob Sivak said the proposed site would put a response station in the part of the city that is expected to develop quickest.
“We recognize a target population there,” he said. “Although there is residential housing being built on the east side of town, there is residential housing of course being built through State Addition, the high density — single-family homes, multiple-family homes, three, four and even possibly five-story hotels and motels — is in the northwest quadrant.”
The need for a new station was formulated by analyzing response times, traffic density and population density, Sivak said.
The new fire station is expected to cost about $2 million and would be planned in 2012 for a 2013 build, City Administrator Shawn Kessel said.
Kessel said growth is expected in every direction, but more quickly near the proposed location.
“(The city limits are) an ever-changing boundary in the times we are in,” Kessel said. “We anticipate our growth to continue in all directions, likely quicker on the north side than the south side.”
The city has annexed more than 300 acres on the north side of town compared to about 80 on the south side, Kessel said
The National Fire Protection Association recommends that pumper trucks have a 1½-mile response radius and ladder trucks should be within a two-mile range. Working out of the Central Station doesn’t cover those recommendations.
Sivak said the proposed location would be a benefit because it was near byways and roads that could be easily traveled and would best fit the NFPA recommendation. It would also provide quick access to a new hospital location on the west side of town and the State Addition that is quickly being developed.
Multiple locations were considered, Kessel said, and this seemed to be the best.
“There is no single site that will accommodate all our needs, but we have identified one on the northwest side of the community that seems to be the best place to accommodate the current growth,” he said.
One of the difficulties is that the land was designated for use by the Park Board for community recreation.
Commissioner John Gaffaney said he was in support of the station, but the legalities of turning over the land would need to be assessed.
“I have been on the Park Board a long, long time and we have had some issues with land we don’t utilize and what our options are with it,” Gaffaney said. “It is not a clear cut deal. A lot of it is how we acquired it and if we can get a clear title from the person who deeded it to us.”
Commissioner Scott Kovash said it might be possible to continue if both entities worked together and built a station and a park.
Sivak said they would be open to that, and one volunteer firefighter suggested a fire-station-themed park.
Both parties said they wanted to ensure that the public would be informed throughout the process and have a chance to voice their opinion.
“We understand that even though a fire substation is going to serve a great deal of people, improve services to the area, not everybody is going to be happy,” Kessel said. “NIMBY, or ‘not in my backyard,’ is a scenario we think will happen.”