The Milton City Council hopes to keep communication with other governing bodies open while community leaders search for a way to upgrade or replace the city’s ailing fire station.
At its Tuesday meeting, the city council tried to flesh out the city’s stance on how it thinks the Milton Joint Fire Commission should approach updating the Milton Fire Department’s facilities.
Discussion focused mainly on getting the city council caught up on what the fire commission has done so far.
At the end of the night, the council chose to table further discussion on fire department facilities until after the commission can provide cost estimates for four potential solutions that were proposed at the commission’s last meeting.
Milton Town Supervisor and Joint Fire Commission member Jon Jennings gave the council an overview of the four potential solutions that Fire Chief Randy Banker will provide plans for in the next six months. They include:
- Renovating or replacing the fire station at its current location.
- Building a new fire station at a new site within the Milton fire district.
- Building a shared fire station with the Janesville Fire Department on the north side of Janesville and maintaining the existing Milton station as a secondary station.
- Building a shared station with the Janesville Fire Department on Janesville’s north side and building a secondary station at a new site in the Milton fire district.
A group of a couple dozen Milton Fire Department employees attended Tuesday’s meeting.
Deputy Chief Jeremy Parker said he is glad there is open communication with the council.
Ideally, Milton would have a fire station on both sides of the railroad tracks that bisect the Milton fire district, Parker said. Staff won’t know what the most feasible solution will be until they learn the details.
Among many uncertainties is how the fire commission would staff a new station or multiple stations.
Jennings said it would be putting the cart before the horse to talk about operations before having capital solution.
Alderman Larry Laehn said at an August council meeting that he thought the council should further explore the possibility of sharing a fire station with the city of Janesville, said City Administrator Al Hulick.
Laehn said he was satisfied by the end of Tuesday’s discussion.
Hulick said it’s still unclear what the commission wants.
The fire commission chose to suspend a subcommittee charged with making decisions on a new fire station until the full commission can narrow down what it wants to build, Jennings said.