The City Of Albert Lea is considering two options to locate the new Fire Department facility. The current facility is inadequate, as there is not enough room for training, offices, living and sleeping quarters and decontamination gear. It does not comply with current Emergency Response Design Requirements.
The two locations are as follows:
- Newton Site (Newton Avenue/College Street Block)
- Blazing Star Landing
Note: The East Main St. site has temporarily been eliminated from consideration primarily due to high site and acquisition costs.
Note: The pros and cons of this site are currently being evaluated
Blazing Star Landing
- No site acquisition expense, the city owns the property.
- The site meets the desired site size.
- The project can be completed within a reasonable amount of time.
- Large site provides options for locating the facility.
- There may be an added expense to grade the area and add infrastructure depending on the location chosen for the facility.
- The site is at the east edge of desired central location and response time.
- Potentially decreases taxable value to fund remaining site development.
East Main Street
- Central location
- Building at this site helps with redevelopment of East Main Street
- The training area can be located across the railroad tracks west of the channel on property the city already owns
- Soil remediation is needed on the site
- The site is smaller than desired, which creates constraints on site development
- Site acquisition costs could be near $1 million
- Access to Main Street is difficult due to heavy traffic
- Principal and/or interest from Fire Pension Fund
- City General or Capital Fund Reserves
- USDA Loan with property tax or fire interest payback
- City bond for some or all of project (generally requires vote of the people)
- Freeborn County cost-share funding for Emergency Management or other grants
- July – August – Site selection determined, final budget and source of funding determined, construction drawings completed
- September – early October – Receive and qualify bids, recommend award to City Council
- Mid-October – November – Partial to full site work begins, footings and foundations installed
- March – Precast erected
- November – Substantial completion/Move in
- December – Project Close Out