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Evansville breaks ground for fire station

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GINA R. HEINE
April 10, 2008
— Evansville’s fire chief thinks a new fire station will delay the need for full-time firefighters.

Officials broke ground Wednesday afternoon for the new station on Water Street on the city’s southeast side.


“I think it will reenergize volunteers to get active,” Fire Chief Mike Halvensleben said. “They’ll be so proud of this building that it’ll prolong us from going to full-time.”


The department added three firefighters last month for a total 34 paid, on-call staff, he said. The fire district comprises Evansville and the townships of Magnolia, Union, Porter and Brooklyn.


Construction will start soon on the nearly 18,000-square-foot building, which will include six bays—three of them drive-through bays. The $2.4 million project is expected to be complete around November.


The new station—nearly three times the size of the current cramped facility—will include two sleeping rooms, a kitchen, large meeting area and offices. Norm Paulson of Evansville is the general contractor.


The project will cost taxpayers a total of 30 cents per $1,000 of equalized assessed value over 20 years, Halvensleben said.


The district also sold the downtown station, 10 W. Church St., to the city for $275,000. The city plans to move the police station, 535 E. Main St., into the fire station, but there’s no rush, City Administrator Dan Wietecha said.


No timeline is set for the move. The city has received three or four inquiries about buying the police station, but it has not been put up for sale, he said.


The current fire station will need remodeling before the police department can move in.



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