La Crosse, WIS. (WXOW) – La Crosse’s fire chief says it could take five years, and it may even take up to ten, but the first steps have been taken to possibly adding a new fire station in the city.
On Thursday night the city council gave the department approval to continue moving forward with selecting a site. Fire Chief Ken Gilliam said there are a couple of primary options on the south side of town and that there is still discussion happening on the possible move from four fire stations to five fire stations. The chief says it’s something they’ve been looking at since 2012, whether to add a station in La Crosse or or change the location of one of the existing four fire stations.
“We had the fire station task force last year that did put a recommendation to council that we look at five fire stations. What we did Thursday night was basically get approval to start phase one surveys of a couple of primary locations on the south end of town and start some designs of what it could look like,” said Gilliam.
When asked about the timeline of the potential project, he had this to say, “Over the next five years would be very optimistic. The stations have been around for 60 to 80 years and we’re really looking at building new 60 to 80 year buildings.”
The chief also said money for the actual construction of a station has been requested but is not fully secured yet. He said, first, the number of stations needed in the city needs to be decided.
He believes the city would be best served by the addition of a fifth fire station and says because of current staffing levels, it would not require the hiring of additional firefighters.