By LeAnn R. Ralph
BOYCEVILLE — The Boyceville Community Fire District Board has taken another small step closer to building a new fire station.
Fire board members reviewed schematic drawings for the proposed new fire station with an estimated cost of $2.3 million and $3.08 million presented by Five Bugles Design, a division of Architectural Design Group, at the board’s regular monthly meeting April 12.
[emember_protected] The estimated cost of a 12,245 square-foot brick and block building is $3,078,160.
The estimated cost of a 12,245 square-foot metal building is $2,292,221.
Many of the fire stations featured on the Five Bugles Design website are brick construction.
The Boyceville fire board has not yet made a decision whether to build a brick building or a metal building, although the fire board did recently approve contracting with Five Bugles Design for designing the new fire station.
Dave Cihasky, an architect and one of the owners of Five Bugles Design, and Rob Krzyzanowski, the Five Bugles Design project manager, presented the schematic designs to the fire board.
The proposed new fire station would have five apparatus bay doors. Three of the doors would be “drive-throughs” and two of the doors would provide entry on only one side of the building.
The three options presented to the fire board mainly showed differences in the design of the administration portion of the building where the offices and a training room would be located.
The number of firefighters who would be attending training sessions and whether Boyceville would plan on holding training sessions that would include other fire departments in the area would determine the size of the training room needed, Cihasky said.
Brian Marlette, Boyceville fire chief, noted that the roster currently contains 30 firefighters.
Russel Hitz, representative for the Town of Hay River, said he also would like to see an estimate for an agricultural-type of building.
The only way to save a substantial amount of money on a new fire station is by removing a thousand square feet, Cihasky said.
But a smaller fire station, “will not fit the needs of the fire department,” he said.
In March of 2015, the fire board’s five-year planning committee met with representatives of Design Built Structures who estimated that an approximately 11,000 square-foot building with a 3,800 square-foot second story would cost $1.5 million.
In February of 2016, the five-year planning committee proposed scaling back the fire station and removing one apparatus bay and the second story to reduce the cost by about $350,000 to around $1.1 million.
The Design Built estimates did not include site acquisition and site preparation.
Municipalities that are members of the Boyceville Community Fire District pay their share of the fire assessment based on their percentage of the property in the entire fire district.
For example, the Village of Boyceville contains 17 percent of the property in the entire fire district and, therefore, pays 17 percent of assessment for the fire district’s annual budget.
According to information provided to fire board members, the entire district contains an equalized value of $262,488,353.
The Town of Hay River, with nearly $58 million in equalized value, pays 21 percent of the assessment.
The Town of Stanton, with a little more than $53 million in equalized value, also pays 21 percent of the assessment, according to the information provided to fire board members.
The part of the Town of New Haven (87 percent) covered by the Boyceville fire department is $35 million in equalized value and pays 13 percent of the assessment.
The part of the Town of Sherman (51 percent) covered by the Boyceville fire department is $34 million in equalized value and also pays 13 percent of the assessment.
The Town of Tiffany covered by the Boyceville fire department (72 percent) is $28.5 million in equalized value and pays 11 percent of the assessment.
The Village of Boyceville, with $44 million in equalized value, pays 17 percent of the assessment.
The Village of Wheeler, with $9.5 million in equalized value, pays 4 percent of the assessment.
The villages and townships in the fire district would pay their share of the new fire station based on the percentage of equalized value.
For a new fire station that cost $2.3 million, Hay River and Stanton would each pay about $483,000.
For a new fire station that cost $3.08 million, Hay River and Stanton would each pay about $646,800.
New Haven and Sherman would each pay about $299,000 or about $400,000, respectively.
Tiffany would pay about $253,000 or about $339,000, respectively.
Boyceville would pay about $391,000 or about $523,600, respectively.
Wheeler would pay about $92,000 or about $123,200, respectively.
Although initially there was some question as to whether all of the municipalities would have to approve paying for a new fire station in order for the project to move forward, Boyceville’s attorney, Rory E. O’Sullivan, said in an e-mail message to Gilbert Krueger, chair of the fire board and Boyceville village president, that none of the municipalities have the power to veto the project.
O’Sullivan based his opinion on state statute and the fire district agreement.
Approval by the majority of the municipalities would be sufficient to approve the project, O’Sullivan said.
If several of the municipalities did not approve the project, those municipalities would still have to pay their fair share of the new fire station, he said.
If a member municipality was unhappy with the decisions being made and the money being spent, “then that member’s remedy is to withdraw from the fire agreement under its own terms by eighteen (18) months notice by certified mail. However, that member must still pay its share of the assessments and contributions upon its departure and, although that member could still use the services of the fire district, that member would still have to pay for the value of those services under Wis. Stat.66.03125(2)(b)2,” O’Sullivan said.
For the past several years, the Village of Wheeler has not been sending a representative to the Boyceville fire board meetings.
“It appears to me that the consequences for any member failing to attend a meeting is that decisions will be made for that member in their absence. Those decisions are still binding on the member, however, and they still must pay their share into the fire district, even if they subsequently leave,” O’Sullivan said.
The Boyceville Community Fire District Board must decide on the kind of construction (brick or metal), must decide upon the interior design for the fire station and must decide whether the plans should include provisions for future expansion of the fire station before the board can set a budget for the project.
The fire board must also acquire property from the Village of Boyceville south of the airport if the property is going to be the site for a new fire station.
Determining a budget will allow the representatives on the fire board to bring back information to their respective boards concerning how much that municipality will have to pay toward building a new fire station.
The Boyceville Community Fire District Board meets next May 10 at the Boyceville Village Hall following the ambulance district meeting at 6:30 p.m. [/emember_protected]