The Pleasant View Fire Department is planning to build a new fire station on Road CC across from the elementary school.
Chief Jeff Yoder explained that the new station is needed because the current station is aging and has high maintenance needs. He said the project would be funded with capital reserves and possible grants.
“We would not increase the mill levy or get a loan for the project,” he said. “We have been very conservative financially and have the funding in place.”
Yoder estimated the construction price to be $1 million, and energy impact grants will be sought to defray costs. It would be built on five acres, with an expected completion date in 2020.
The current station is on County Road CC just east of U.S. Highway 491. Once the new station is built, the old one will be put up for sale.
Yoder said the new station design has a two-story building in the center, with a total of six vehicle bays on each side. It will be slightly larger than the current station, and access will be from Road CC only. Upstairs will be a firefighter training area with enough room for a future bunking area. The ground floor will have a large community center with a commercial kitchen.
“It will be available for public meetings and events,” Yoder said. “We have to plan for emergency services to accommodate future growth, and a new station helps us get there.”
Planning director LeAnn Milligan said some neighbors have expressed concerns about fire vehicles speeding down Road CC on their way to the highway blaring their sirens.
Yoder said sirens are generally not used before the highway, and that speed limits would be respected. He noted that in general there are not many calls during school hours.
“We will stress caution and be in good communication with the school and students about what is across the street,” added Fred Petit, Pleasant View Fire Department board president.
The planning board recommended to the county commissioners approval for the single-lot development, and industrial rezoning request for the new station. As a condition, the fire district is required to give regular updates on the construction of the new station.
Planning board member Kelly Belt also asked fire district officials to consider installing a flashing warning light to activate when fire and rescue vehicles are dispatched from the new station for public safety reasons.
“There can be a lot activity in front of the school there during certain times of the day,” he said.
The Pleasant View Fire Department is run by 14 volunteer firefighters, Yoder said. It is often the first department on scene for crashes on U.S. 491, “which continues to get more busy.” In addition to structure fires, they also respond to wildfires and are the closest emergency services if there is an accident or fire on nearby oil and gas fields.