Board approves new fire station in Central City

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The Central City Rural Fire District Board has approved the construction of a new fire station.

The new station will be located on the former Hilder Implement property, just west of Herk’s Welding.

Brent Wells, chairman of the rural fire district board, said this is something that has been talked about since he first joined the board.
“I’ve been on the fire department for 23 years and it’s been discussed ever since I started,” he said. “A couple years ago, a couple different board members got on and it seemed like the time to get things rolling on this.”

Fire chief Brad Wells said what really helped him was information he learned from a training session in Grand Island.

“Really it was after the 2012 fire school,” he said. “We kind of had the idea and the funding mechanisms available.”

Brad Wells said he didn’t think discussion would move as quickly as it did.

“I’m glad we’re to this point,” he said. “I never thought it could move along at the rate it is going.”

JEO Consulting Group Inc. has been chosen to do the engineering work for the project.

Wednesday, August 14, the plan will be presented to the fire department and it won’t be until Oct. 1 when the bidding process is hoped to be complete, Chief Wells said.
Chairman Wells said the board does have in mind a budget number it would like to stay under.

“Right now we are working on just estimates,” he said. “We are trying to keep it around the $1.5 million range.”
Chief Wells said the board approved a bond that will help fund the new station.

“The rural board agreed to a $2 million bond issue,” he said. “Hopefully there will be enough room afterwards to replace one of the pieces of apparatus, too.”
Chief Wells said replacing some equipment is on the departments agenda.

“We have two pieces of apparatus we are looking to replace,” he said. “One will be a rural truck and the other will be a city truck.”
Chairman Wells said deciding on a final location was not easy.

“That got kind of complicated,” he said. “That took a lot of discussion and back and forth. For the lots that became available, it ended up being our best choice for the room and the money we are going to spend.”

Chief Wells said the first choice of property location was the lot next to the Legion building.

“We looked through several different locations. The first location we considered was when the Legion made the decision to take the old restaurant down and that opened up that location on the highway,” he said. “But between negotiations with the Legion and such, and trying to figure out our size requirements, this Hilder property became available and it just offered a lot more options size wise.”

Chairman Wells said the proposals should get full approval by everyone involved when presented.

“Everybody has been pretty on board with it since we got started.”

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