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News From 91.3 KUWS
Gordon fire hall rebuilding to start soon, demolition started
Demolition is underway this week of the Gordon Fire Hall destroyed by fire last month. The Douglas County town hopes to have it rebuilt by spring. Brad Phenow reports.
The Gordon Volunteer Fire Department is beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel. The demolition crew has arrived, and will finish what the blaze started, breaking down the rest of the structure beneath the rubble.
Gordon Fire Chief Mike Chmielecki says the town meeting last week to get the public's approval in re-building the fire hall was a success.
“It went good; we had roughly around 20 some people show up to the meeting. The town board took a vote on the approval to re-build the structure up at the fire hall. After a short discussion there was a unanimous vote to approve the board to go ahead and do what needs to be done to re-build the structure.”
He says the exact numbers from the insurance company still haven’t been calculated but they have a pretty good idea.
“Right now the best that we can tell, it’s well over two million dollars at this time, with a little bit left to go yet.”
They’re waiting for contractor bids before they know if that’ll cover the total amount lost.
He says they are planning on starting construction as soon as the demolition is finished, and a contractor is selected.
“The demolition crew is bringing equipment in; hopefully they’ll start on it on Tuesday and it shouldn’t take them very long, maybe a day or so to do the demolition to the building and then haul it away.”
Ironically, this was headquarters for fighting the Germann Road wildfire in May that burned some 7000 acres in Douglas and Bayfield counties, destroying more than 70 buildings.
Chmielecki says they are hopeful to get a start on the new structure yet this fall.
“I would imagine once the slab would be in, whatever crew would get the contract would be able to work all winter long, and try and get it wrapped up by spring.”
He says the town board sent out proposals for invitation to bid on replacing the building; the bids are due back by next week. As for the volunteer firefighters, Chmielecki says they are keeping busy.
“We’ve been having lots of meetings to work on training on the trucks that we have. We just received our brand new turnout gear that we ordered so the guys are pretty excited about that, basically have something that’s kind of their own. Definitely moving in the right direction.”
The fire department is currently calling the nearby highway department building their home. There still hasn’t been a fire call since the fire hall blaze, but they have responded to medical calls.
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