Archive for Wednesday, September 8, 2004

Fire station planned on 187th Street

September 8, 2004

By early next month, construction should begin on a new fire station along 187th Street, just north of Seymour Road.

The new station will serve residents in the new Fire District No. 1 -- people in the city of Lansing, as well as High Prairie and Delaware townships.

Rick Huhn, fire chief, said the new station will join the existing station in Lansing. The goal, he said, is to better serve the southwestern portion of the fire district, which was formed in January.

"We cover 78 square miles from this building (in Lansing), and it takes us about 25 minutes to get from here to our farthest point," Huhn said.

The new station also should save fire district residents money by lowering their homeowners insurance premiums.

¢ Firefighters in Fire District No. 1 have seen an increase during the past few years in the number of calls. Here's a look at recent years:

¢ 2001: 570 calls

¢ 2002: 624 calls

¢ 2003: 614 calls

¢ So far in 2004, the district is about 21 runs ahead of last year, according to Fire Chief Rick Huhn.

For example, Huhn said, the owner of a house valued at $190,000 now pays about $1,445 annually for insurance. Once the new station is in place, that same homeowner would pay about $1,100 annually, he said.

"We raised the folks' taxes out there about $100 a year with this new district, but we're going to lower their insurance about $350 a year."

The fire district spent $15,000 to purchase about 1.5 acres for the new station. Much of the labor and equipment used in excavating the land was donated. George Shawn Construction donated equipment, while Thomas Brothers Farms donated equipment and labor. High Prairie residents also have donated labor. Huhn plans to use donated labor to complete the inside of the structure.

"Right now, we're doing pretty well on donations, but we can use more," he said.

The 3,000-square-foot building will house a pump-tanker once it's constructed. And it will be staffed with volunteer firefighters.

Currently, the district employs two paid firefighters -- Huhn and Jeff Simpson. The other 26 firefighters are volunteers, two of whom live in High Prairie Township.

"We're always looking for volunteers," Huhn said. "Right now, we've got a good bunch of guys, but we do need more."

Commenting has been disabled for this item.