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Study looking at Ward Avenue for new fire hall

A study by Five Bugles Design will examine the city-owned property on Ward Avenue as a site for a potential new fire hall. The study was approved by the council at its meeting on Monday, Nov. 20. File photo

Following a study regarding the needs of the Hudson Fire Department in March, the city has approved moving forward with a study of the Ward Avenue property as the future site of a new station.

The study will be conducted by Five Bugles Design, which did the initial needs study. At the common council meeting on Monday, Nov. 20, Five Bugles architect Michael Clark said the city could do a study of the site, or simply move ahead with a full design contract at this time. Hudson Fire Chief Scott St. Martin recommended the study as the first step.

"This would be the more economical one and the one I would advise to take," St. Martin said.

The initial needs study showed a new fire hall at the Ward Avenue site would cost around $10 million, but Clark said that will likely be closer to $6 million. St. Martin said it could be more than that, but a study will give the city a better idea of the costs, as well as how everything will fit on the site.

EMS could also potentially move to the site, as was discussed at a previous council meeting.

Council Member Tom McCormick asked if St. Martin felt the site's entrances and exits would be suitable for a fire station. St. Martin said it's a workable site.

"I don't think in a town that's fully developed, you're going to find a perfect site," St. Martin said. "It's good for what's out there."

The cost of the study is $7,500, and will come out of the fire department's contingency fund.

Limiting resolutions

In other business, the council approved an ordinance limiting the resolutions it will consider. The ordinance comes after a few citizen-proposed resolutions were brought to the council over the last several months.

With the ordinance, the council would consider only resolutions required under statute or law, unless approved by a vote from council to put it on the agenda. The wording initially required a unanimous vote by the council to consider such a resolution, but Council Member Jim Webber said he was concerned about that.

"That's overly strict in my opinion," Webber said.

The council agreed to bring the unanimous down a vote from five of the six council members.

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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