North Hudson pays December fire bills
North Hudson will pay nearly $40,000 in costs billed to the village from outside fire departments for the fire Dec. 11-12 at the St. Croix Storage and Transfer Co. warehouse on the site of the former railroad car shop yards.
The board voted to approve claims of $171,315.85 for December and January that included $39,915.69 for fighting the fire.
President Larry Larsen said the village has an agreement with the Hudson Fire Department that provides protection for North Hudson. The agreement includes a mutual aid pact with surrounding departments that covers 98 percent of normal situations.
"The fire at the car shops was an extensive, extraordinary event," he said, particularly in the use of (fire suppressing) foam, that ran up a $19,000 bill.
Larsen said 43 fire departments participated in fighting the blaze and some $13,455 was billed by fire departments outside the mutual aid area that included Elk Mound, Boyd, Boyceville, Chippewa Falls and Menomonie.
There was also a $19,000 tab for contracted heavy equipment needed to control the fire, Larsen said.
The finance committee moved to pay the normal bills plus the costs associated with fighting the fire. Larsen said the bill for the fire initially topped out at $43,915.69 but was expected to be reduced by $4,000.
"The village will meet its obligation to the city (Hudson) and recoup the dollars from the property owner," said Larsen. "There may be additional small bills in the future," he added.
Trustee George Klein said, "This fire would have cost us a whole lot more had it not been for mutual aid."
Dan Barber of North Hudson owns St. Croix Storage and Transfer.
The presumption is that fire insurance on the building will cover the village's bill.
The fire was reported just before 11 p.m. on Dec. 11 and wasn't secured until 5:15 p.m. the next day. Sub-zero temperatures and a low water supply in the village created the need for extra tanker trucks.
An estimated 200 firefighters - without injury - participated in the blaze at the 50,000-square-foot building.
In other business at the Feb. 3 meeting, the board: