PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — The City of Platteville seeks a consultant to guide community efforts to address deficiencies in the city’s fire station.
The Platteville Common Council this week reviewed a draft request for proposals that outlines the desired scope of a study to assess the facility and department operations as well as provide recommendations for future layout and siting.
“It’s going to give us a blueprint to follow,” said Platteville Fire Chief Ryan Simmons. “I don’t think there is a way to keep moving forward without having this background analysis.”
The existing station, at 275 E. Main St., was constructed in 1964 and has become obsolete as firefighting practices, training requirements and equipment evolved.
The building lacks storage space for gear and vehicles. Because of insufficient clearance on the bay doors, the department must custom order shorter fire trucks.
The study would analyze operational procedures and project future fire service needs, providing suggestions for alternative methods of service-delivery and strategies to increase the department’s efficiency. City staff also desire projections of future operational costs.
“Let’s take a look at what we think our department is going to look like in 50 years,” said City Manager Adam Ruechel. “What is firefighting? Is it a regional approach? Is it paid on-call? Is it full time? What equipment might they be using?”
The city also seeks an infrastructure assessment that would provide recommendations for the siting of a new fire station and the feasibility of improving the existing building.
“If we were going to move to a different location, what does that entail?” Ruechel said. “We’ve had numerous conversations with people about the potential for it to be a combination fire station, training facility and potentially some type of commercial, restaurant component — thinking outside the box of different ideas that could support what this is.”
To finance the study, the city intends to contribute $20,000 to $25,000, with the remaining $50,000 to be contributed by a citizen committee that is fundraising in support of the project.
Committee Chairman Bill Kloster said the group is soliciting donations, but might encounter challenges if the economic disruption caused by the new coronavirus continues.
“No matter what, we need to find the funding for this, even if people cannot come forward with donations,” he said.
Ruechel has submitted the proposal for review to neighboring townships who are served by the Platteville Fire Department, as well as the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, to determine the potential for financial collaboration.
The request for proposals will be released in April and prospective consultants reviewed by the council in May. If a firm is selected, the consultant is expected to provide the final report by September.