Janesville unveils new plans for fire station

Janesville unveils new plans for fire station

Plans to build a new central fire station in Janesville have been a sensitive topic for some community members. Now with the latest proposal showing a reduction in the building’s size to cut costs, some residents are wondering if it will be worth it in the end.

“You might as well just bury me with the house because I’m not having any luck,” Janesville resident Patricia Perry said.

Perry is one of the few residents left on the empty part of Prospect Avenue.

“I was supposed to be out by the 29th of October. So they are giving me leeway, I don’t know how much leeway they are going to give,” Perry said.

Perry’s house, along with 11 of her neighbors’ houses, will become the new location for Evansville new central fire station. But after seven years of renting and her current income, Perry is finding it hard to find a new home.

“Either way I was going to have to move. I don’t think they needed such a large fire station,” she said.

The latest plans for the station cut the building’s size by more than 6,000 square feet. The smaller design and reduced additions are to help trim $1 million from the previous $10-million price tag.

“The building itself as designed, we didn’t cut any corners on functionality and efficiencies,” ad hoc Fire Committee member Doug Marklein said.

Cutting costs, however, did mean eliminating one of the eight proposed bays, something that Fire Chief Jim Jensen hopes can be worked back in if bids for the project are cheaper than they expect.

“The station is very functional. I think it will meet our immediate needs. We will have vehicles that we will not have space for. There aren’t a lot of frills in it. Is it enough to met our needs for the future? That will remain to be seen,” Jensen said.

Despite the reduced size of the fire station, all 12 homeowners would still have been asked to relocate. The committee’s design proposal will now go to the planning commission on Dec. 1. City council members will have to approve the final decision.