The first look at a planned city fire station shows a building with seven bays, a gear room, a meeting room, a kitchen and laundry, storage and the potential showroom for the city’s antique fire truck.
Under the proposal, which is expected to cost about $2.7 million, the volunteer fire department would have enough space for its equipment into the future, the primary reason for a new hall. The department has outgrown its current fire hall.
The classroom space also would function as a multi-use room or a small community room, said Catherine Dekkeuga with JLG Architects, who presented the plan.
The plan allows flexibility for the future as equipment needs and sizes change, as well, Dekkeuga said. The group also scaled back on the original ideas.
“The plan was a lot larger. I think we ended up cutting,” she said.
The building would be a pre-engineered metal structure with large exposed trusses. The flow of the building was designed with safety in mind so that people and trucks don’t cross each other.
“The trucks will leave on the west side of the building. When they return, they will come in on the east side,” Dekkeuga said.
The city has the option to cut the display bay for the 1925 LaFrance truck, which is stored on Second Avenue next to the Crystal Theatre.
Council members had differing opinions on whether it should be included now or possibly could be added later.
Alderman Brad Bjerke said the LaFrance, which is an original truck, ties the past to the future and should be incorporated in the new station, if the city can afford it.
“You could look at it as paying tribute to the generations of firefighters that have been here before,” he said. “It is important that we pay a little tribute to that if it’s economically possible.”
Alderman Jason Unger said there are few opportunities to create something that will last well into the future. But he isn’t sure the antique truck needs to be on site at the station.
“We’ve got a designated museum space now,” he said.
The next phase of the project would be to break out the costs of materials based on specific dimensions and develop the design further. City council members will host a public informational meeting in June. The fire hall project was led by a committee of city officials, fire department volunteers and community members. The city is looking for grants and other funding sources to decrease the price for Flandreau taxpayers.
“We wish it were cheaper, obviously,” said City Administrator Jeff Pederson.
The company looked at the Moody County Courthouse and fire stations in Grand Forks, N.D.; Spain and Spokane when making decisions about the building’s design elements, such as color scheme and finishes.
In other city business:
•Don Ulwelling and Bruce Clark have resigned from the city park board, and anyone interested in being appointed to the board should contact Mayor Dan Sutton.
•The city is looking at electronic speed signs to install on the entrances to Flandreau. The signs would help drivers be aware of the reduction of speeds needed, without having a police officer stationed to ticket people driving too fast.
•The city council accepted the low bid of $33,785 from Allen Construction to remodel the men’s showers at the community center.
Two bids were submitted. Local contractor Pulscher Brothers Construction bid $35,589.
Money for the project will come from the construction account of the Bed, Board and Booze Tax.
•Eight malt beverage license renewals were approved at a cost of $300 each, which is split between the city and state. The city approved licenses for Dollar General, First American Mart, Bar X Bar, Fat Boys Bar, Maynards, Rivers Edge Cooperative, El Rinconsito and the Hunkake Café. The Flandreau Flower Shoppe chose not to renew its license, and licenses at the Trading Post and Dakota Stop have yet to turn in paperwork and pay, as of the council meeting on May 17. The license expires June 30.
•Council members tabled a proposal that would have increased swimming lesson fees from $25 to $35 a child for the season. Bjerke said patrons didn’t get to use the pool last year because it was closed because of COVID-19 precautions.
A comparison of pools in the area shows that Flandreau Aquatic Center fees tend to be less than those at other pools, Pederson said.
Bjerke said it would be better to wait until next year to charge more because of the interruption last year. He favored giving families a break. “More kids will need to catch up.”