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Longitude, latitude needed for Boyceville fire station height restrictions

By LeAnn R. Ralph

BOYCEVILLE — As the old saying goes — nothing is ever easy.

In order to determine whether a new fire station will fit within the height restrictions on the village-owned site behind the BP gas station in Boyceville, the precise location from the airport must be determined to establish the exact longitude and latitude.

After the last special meeting of the Boyceville Community Fire District December 4, Rich Monn, chair of the Town of Stanton and chair of the fire district’s five-year planning committee, reported at the fire district’s December 10 meeting that he had contacted the Federal Aviation Administration.

An obstruction evaluation form on the FAA’s website must be submitted to determine whether a new fire station would fit within the airport’s height restrictions, Monn said.

Monn also called Five Bugles Design about the process and said he had been told that they could design a fire station that would not exceed a height of 30 or 35 feet, if that turned out to be the height restriction for the building.

Cindy Swanepoel, village clerk-treasurer and clerk-treasurer for the fire district, said she had tried to access the obstruction evaluation form on the FAA’s website.

The form asks for the precise longitude and latitude of the proposed building; a site evaluation; total structure height; any previous FAA studies of the site; a United States Geological Survey (USGS) map with the precise site marked; and a complete description of the proposal.

Swanepoel said she did not have any of the information required to fill out the form.

“I got on there, but I couldn’t just do it because I don’t have what I need,” she said.

Monn said when he talked to the representative from the FAA on the telephone, the gentleman had pulled up the grid map of the Boyceville airport on his computer and said the fire district would need to determine the closest corner of the building to the runway and the closest height to the runway.

Mike Blechinger, the fire district’s representative from the Town of Tiffany, worked with the FAA to locate flagpoles at the Boyceville airport for the veterans’ memorial.

Blechinger suggested going to the center of the lot and then finding the longitude and latitude with a GPS unit.

Matt Feeney, Boyceville ambulance service director who sat in on the fire district meeting while waiting for the ambulance district meeting to start, suggested going to Google Earth to find the longitude and latitude.

Google Earth would be a good tool to use, “but I don’t know where the dot is,” Swanepoel said.

What about putting cones out at the site? asked Brian Marlette, Boyceville fire chief.

If cones were put out at the site, a person could work back from the center and then find the number of feet from the airport building, said Gilbert Krueger, village president and chair of the Boyceville fire district.

Krueger suggested that in the next couple of weeks, representatives from the fire district, along with Marlette and Don Rose, director of public works, could place cones on the site to indicate the location of where a fire station could be situated.

Blechinger said that since he had worked with the FAA on the flagpoles, he would be willing to do what he could to help with determining the height restrictions.

Members of the fire district agreed that placing cones would be a logical place to start in the process of determining height restrictions for the possibility of building a new fire station.

Other business

In other business, the Boyceville Fire District:

• Learned that the Boyceville fire department had gone out on 11 runs in the last month and that the total runs for the year so far is 85. The 85 runs to date is very close to the department’s all-time high number of runs for one year, Marlette said. The most recent runs included setting up two landing zones, several car accidents, two mutual aid runs for Menomonie, two lift assists, a structure fire and a carbon monoxide alarm.

• Approved not paying the second half of the Five Bugles Design/Architectural Design Group fee of $2,556.05 for preliminary design on a new fire station until the company has actually completed the work.

• Set the next meeting for January 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the Boyceville village hall.