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New fire hall recommended for Hudson

A study recommends a new facility for Hudson Fire Department. Note: A previous version of this photo showed a sign for a pancake breakfast. The photo was pulled from the HSO files and there is no upcoming breakfast. (Hudson Star-Observer file photo)

A new fire hall at a new location would best serve the Hudson community's needs and improve response time, according to a fire department space needs study conducted by Five Bugles Design.

The study recommends a new 34,000 square foot building located either at Vine Street and Carmichael Road or at the city-owned land on Ward Avenue. Costs for a new station would be $8.7 to $10.9 million, not including land costs.

Project Architect Michael Clark of Five Bugles presented the Hudson Common Council with the study, which found the current facility had operational challenges and deferred maintenance issues that made a new building preferable. Clark said those challenges include a lack of administrative offices, including a space for the chief, narrow apparatus bays, no decontamination spaces, and a lack of physical training space. He said the building has no future growth options.

The current fire hall is 10,600 square feet, and Clark said adding on is not an option. Doing so would require another floor and would take up all the parking space in the adjacent lot.

"This is a fail," Clark said.

Based on call history, location of volunteer responders and traffic patterns, Clark said the recommended site for the new station would be on the north side of Interstate 94 at Vine Street and Carmichael Road. This area has the best east to west and north to south access.

The city-owned land at Ward Avenue would also work, Clark said. It does not have the same north to south access, and might have some bottlenecks, but is still recommended as an alternate site.

Building a new station at one of these locations would match the city's needs for 20-30 years, Clark said.

A possible short-term solution to the city's needs would be renovating the current building, but Clark said he'd recommend going ahead with the new building.

"That building is about done," he said.

The study also looked at the possibility of two stations. Clark said while that option looks good on paper, Hudson isn't ready for a two-station solution. He said it would unnecessarily increase costs.

Rebecca Mariscal

Rebecca Mariscal joined the Hudson Star Observer as a reporter in 2016. She graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in communication and journalism. 

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