By LeAnn R. Ralph
BOYCEVILLE — As the old saying goes, “slow and steady wins the race.”
Rich Monn, representative for the Town of Stanton on the Boyceville Community Fire District Board and chair of the fire district’s five-year planning committee, reported at the fire board’s March 15 meeting that while he did not have much progress to relay about the proposed new fire station, the surveys of the lot on the south side of the Boyceville airport are finished as are the soil borings.
At the February meeting, fire board members learned the Village of Boyceville is asking $16,000 for the four-acre lot near the airport where a new fire station could be built.
Five Bugles Design has been hired as the architect for the new fire station.
The Boyceville fire district has been working toward building a new fire station for about the past five years, although the initial discussion about building a new fire station started more than 10 years ago.
The fire board settled on 11,390 square feet for a new fire station at the October of 2017 meeting.
The total square footage first proposed by Five Bugles Design was 14,400.
At the April of 2017 fire board meeting, representatives for Five Bugles Design presented schematic designs for the new fire hall at a cost of $2.3 million for a 12,000 square-foot metal building and $3.08 million for a 12,000 square foot brick and block building.
The fire board set a budget of $1 million for a new fire station in May of 2017.
At the March 15 meeting, Gilbert Krueger, chair of the fire board and Boyceville village president, said the work was still in progress to identify the location of the road for the proposed fire station.
Kim Kaarto, an airport engineering specialist with the Bureau of Aeronautics — Wisconsin Department of Transportation, met with the fire board in March of 2017 at the airport and said the Bureau of Aeronautics would raise no objections to using the four-acre lot directly south of the airport and east of the Synergy convenience store and gas station on state Highway 79.
At the meeting last March, Kaarto said a helipad could be built on airport land, although no part of the fire station or the road to the fire station could be on airport land.
The Bureau of Aeronautics would design the helipad and hire contractors, and the village has enough federal aviation money available that could be used to pay for the helipad, she said.
The location for the road into the fire station may end up moving the location of the structure, but the soil borings would still be relevant, said Don Rose, director of public works, at the March 15 meeting.
Monn wondered about putting an “H” in the parking lot and using that as a helipad rather than building a helipad on airport land.
The helipad is still “a go” but the Bureau of Aeronautics is bucking the dual access road that had been proposed to provide access to the helipad and to the new fire station, Krueger said.
The landing zone currently used for medical transport helicopters is on the other side of the airport.
Matt Feeney, director of the Boyceville ambulance service, said he was in favor of having the helicopter landing zone at the fire station.
“It would be an advantage to have (the helipad) in the parking lot,” said Cory Green, fire chief.
The helipad must be separate from the parking lot, though. Vehicles cannot be parked on the helipad, Monn said.
A helipad requires a clear area of 150 feet by 150 feet and a landing pad that is 60 feet by 60 feet, Feeney said.
A square of asphalt could be added adjacent to the parking lot and not actually be part of the parking lot, Rose said.
“We could build the fire station first and then go from there,” Krueger said.
Before construction on the new fire station could begin, each of the municipalities in the fire district would have to approve paying for the structure.
Municipalities in the Boyceville fire district include the Village of Boyceville, the Village of Wheeler and the Towns of Hay River, New Haven, Sherman, Stanton and Tiffany.
The Boyceville Village Board and the Wheeler Village Board would have to approve the fire station, but each of the townships would have to gain approval through a special town meeting of the electors.
The Boyceville fire district meets next April 11 at the new village hall in the Boyceville community center.