Construction of a new fire station means that safety and peace of mind will be a lot closer to home for families in the Town of Alden.
The new station will improve fire, rescue and first-response service for local residents and is part of Allied Emergency Services, a newly formed fire district serving the towns of Osceola, Alden, Garfield and the village of Dresser.
Allied Emergency Services, formerly D.O.G. (Dresser, Osceola, Garfield) Fire Association, provides emergency response to 8,162 people and 3,913 homes, and has existing fire stations in the Village of Dresser and the Town of Garfield.
“Many of these rural families are co-op members, and we’re always proud when we can support a project that improves one of our communities,” said Ed Gullickson, Polk-Burnett board president.
Discussion of the project originally took place around nine years ago. The new three-bay fire station will be located at 1846 West Church Road, Star Prairie, at the intersection of 185th Street and Church Road in the Town of Alden. The 6,000-square-foot facility will provide garage space for six emergency vehicles, including a pumper truck, brush/grass fire rig and first responder vehicle.
The land has been acquired and cleared, and the building design plans have received state approval. Groundbreaking of the new fire station took place Oct. 30, with an anticipated completion date set for May 15. Berghammer Builders of Clayton is the general contractor.
Total construction cost is $904,725. Eighty percent of the cost ($694,880) will be paid with a USDA Rural Economic Development Loan from Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative at zero-percent interest, which will save taxpayers $350,000 in interest payments. The remaining 20 percent of the project ($173,720) will be paid with a loan from Bremer Bank in Amery.
“We greatly appreciate and are thankful to Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative for the zero-percent interest loan,” said Dan Burch, chairman, Allied Emergency Services. “Because of their generosity, considerable cost savings will benefit the community and Allied Emergency Services.”
“The zero-interest loan from Polk-Burnett and the USDA provides significant cost savings for taxpayers in the fire district and allows us to support our communities far beyond our electric service,” said Gullickson. “We are excited to receive USDA funding for this project; this is an opportunity to make a difference in our community.”