Stillwater city council approves fire training room alternative

To keep the budget for the new Stillwater fire station in line but to still keep fire training capabilities, the city council approved a cheaper alternative to the $150,000 training tower.

The council voted to approve the bids for most of the work on the $7.3 million fire station on July 1, but decided to wait to discuss the smoke training room until July 29.

Fire Chief Stuart Glaser presented an alternative smoke training room that would only cost the city $40,000.

A wall will be built between the main truck bays and the smaller south bay that will feature large doors that could separate the smaller area from the main floor. The items stored in the south bay would be moved while training is going on.

“I support the idea, and I believe it is a good option,” he said. “It will create a functional training room much more economically.”

The $40,000 alternative will still put the project over budget by $20,000, but the council thought it was a much better option. To pay for increase, city staff believes that they can rely on the three-percent contingency fund.

“It’s a very unique approach,” said Mayor Ken Harycki.

“I’m in favor of the plan as long as it stays on budget,” said council member Tom Weidner. Council member Mike Polehna echoed Weidner.

The plan is very similar to the current smoke training method that the department does, moving fire engines and doing smoke training in the truck bay at the station. The wall that will be constructed between the south bay and the main truck bays will be constructed in a way that they could add the training tower to the fire station in the future.

The council voted 5-0 in favor of the plan.

The new station is planned for 75th Street and Maryknoll Drive, in conjunction with the National Guard’s new Stillwater Armory. A joint ground breaking will be 10 a.m. Aug. 22.

Contact Alicia Lebens at [email protected]