Mitchell City Council budgets money for second fire stationThe Mitchell City Council decided to stick with its preliminary budget and put $100,000 aside to eventually build a satellite fire station near Lake Mitchell.
By: Tom Lawrence, The Daily Republic
Mitchell may have a second fire station in five years.
The Mitchell City Council decided to stick with its preliminary budget and put $100,000 aside to eventually build a satellite fire station near Lake Mitchell.
Such a station would cost about $1 million, Public Safety Chief Lyndon Overweg said. He said as more people live near the lake, response time is becoming an issue.
Currently, the average response time in the city is 4½ minutes, but people by the lake face a longer wait, which can be a major concern in an emergency.
Overweg said no new employees or equipment would be needed in the first few years.
Assistant Fire Chief Paul Morris said the staff would be divided, with most fire employees still stationed at the downtown station.
The staffers at the satellite station would be needed especially for medical services, Morris said.
The council and Mayor Lou Sebert first discussed the second station Tuesday night and brought it back up Wednesday after Overweg and Morris brought more information to the elected officials.
They were in support of budgeting money for building the satellite station on city-owned land near Lake Mitchell.
“I think we’ve got to start planning for it,” Sebert said.
“It just seems to make sense to me to plan for something that is inevitable,” Councilman Mel Olson said.
While Overweg indicated a station would be built in five years, Council President Jeff Smith said after the meeting that that timeframe could be increased or slowed down depending on growth in the city and other factors.
But Sebert, Smith and other city officials looked at a map and pointed to all the new developments in the area, including houses, duplexes and apartments.
Placing a fire station near where those people live just makes sense in the long run, they said.