Village of Suamico – History of the Fire Department
The Suamico Fire Department was established in 1952 by a group of volunteers who felt that the Town of Suamico needed its own fire department. At that time a 1952 fire truck was purchased and kept at a member of the department's home who had an extra storage shed to house the fire truck. It was later moved to an address at 1752 Riverside Drive.
In 1955, the Town of Suamico broke ground on a community center located at 1745 Riverside Drive. It was decided in 1964, to add garage space onto the community center for storage of the fire trucks. The addition in 1964 was 28’ wide by 58’ long. As more trucks and equipment were needed the Community Center/Fire Department was expanded onto in 1978. The addition measured 33’ wide by 58’ long. This is the last addition to the Fire Station #1 that is still in use today.
Current Fire Station #1 at 1745 Riverside Drive
Due to very rapid growth to the southern and western parts of the Town, a second fire station was built on the corner of Northwood Road and White Pine Road in 1994. The station was designed with an apparatus bay, one office, a meeting room and a small kitchen.
Updated June 2019
The Community Center/Fire Station #1 added a wall in 2001 to make office space for the Fire Chief and for deputies of the Brown County Sheriff’s Department that are contracted with Suamico. When the Sheriff's Department moved to the new Municipal Services Center the space was absorbed by the fire department as a gear room and inspectors/record keeping office.
Why Does the Village Need a New Fire Station?
Fire Station #1, located at 1745 Riverside Drive has outlived the Fire Department. The apparatus bays were not designed for the modern day fire truck. The trucks are bigger and heavier than what the building can handle. This is evident by looking at the concrete aprons outside the garage doors, which have failed. With the success of the commercial businesses in the immediate vicinity our firefighters find it difficult to park their vehicles to get the Fire trucks out the door. This puts your safety at risk by delaying response times.
There is insufficient room inside the apparatus bay due to the size of the trucks and the dimensions of the building. Station 1 houses an Engine, a Heavy Rescue vehicle, a second Command vehicle, 2 brush trucks, a Tender (a truck that hauls water) and our vintage 1952 Parade truck. On the walls of the apparatus bays are lockers for the Firefighters to store their turnout gear. They have a difficult time putting on the gear due to the lack of space. Every two weeks firefighters do “truck checks” where they take everything out of the trucks, inspect it, run it, and make sure everything is in working order then replace it. In the warmer months, the extra apparatus can be pulled out to make room, in the colder months it is impossible.
The Village of Suamico has been investigating, reviewing, and planning the replacement of Fire Station #1, located at 1745 Riverside Drive in Historic Downtown Suamico for the past five years. The existing facility was initially constructed in 1964, over 54 years ago. While it has been expanded and modified over the years, it is cramped and outdated. As technology and equipment standards have changed, the facility has become less efficient, effective, and operational.
A “working committee” was formed in 2017 consisting of members in the Fire Department, County Rescue, Village staff and a Village Board member to research and make recommendations to the Village Board related to the development of a new fire station. This committee was dubbed the “Fire Station #1 Review Committee.”
Fire Station #1 Review Committee Members
Bill Sturke; Brent Ward; Chris Gabryszek; Jeremy Ebner; Jerry Vanden Plas; Jim Kowalkowski; Joe Bertler; Mike Schneider; Randy Weytens; Rob Zastrow; Robert Euclide; Scott Legois; Scott Wesa; Troy Noe; Alex Kaker
The Village secured property at the intersection of West Deerfield Ave. and Riverside Drive from the Wisconsin DOT in 2015 with the vision that it may be an option for a future fire station. The Review Committee researched different locations in the Village and ultimately decided that the West Deerfield Ave./Riverside Drive property was the most suitable location for a new fire station.
The Village Board approved staff to proceed with preliminary site work at the West Deerfield site at the Village Board meeting on February, 5, 2018 (2/5/18 Minutes).
Using excess sales tax funds from the Lambeau Field Stadium sales tax the Village authorized the use of up to $100,000 for site preparation in March 2018. Resolution 18005.
Space Needs/Feasibility Study
A space needs study helps municipalities understand the space requirements necessary for a facility, in this case, a fire station to adequately meet the required demands not only for today, but well into the future. These studies can also provide a conceptual drawing of a new facility.
At the public Village Board meeting on Monday, July 17, 2017, the Board voted 6-0 to direct the Fire Station #1 Review Committee to advertise a request for proposal (RFP) for a Space Needs Study for a new fire station (7/17/17 Minutes).
At the public Village Board meeting on Monday, February 15, 2018, the Board voted 6-1 to task the Fire Station #1 Review Committee with screening the six Space Needs Study proposals and ultimately make a recommendation to the Village Board on which firm to select (1/15/18 Minutes).
At the public Village Board meeting on Monday, April 2, 2018 the Board voted 5-1 to approve the hiring of Five Bugles Design to conduct a space needs analysis for Fire Station 1 at a cost of $11,500 (4/2/18 Minutes).
The Study recommended 18,600 square feet for the Fire Department and an additional 4,860 square feet for a shell that may be used for future full-time staffing space. The study also recommended 6,400 square feet for County Rescue. At the public Village Board meeting on Monday, February 18, 2019 the Board voted 6-1 to accept the findings of the Space Needs Study (2/18/19 Minutes).
Professional Design Services
Professional design services typically includes architects and engineers to create a schematic design of a building and once approved, a final design with construction documents. Often times this service is provided simultaneously with a Construction Management firm to ensure the project meets the needs and desires of the client (in this case, the Village of Suamico). The Construction Manager will assist with the bidding process and construction of the facility.
At the public Village Board meeting on Monday, February 18, 2019 the Board voted 7-0 to direct staff to prepare a professional design services RFP for a new fire station and to include a Construction Manager element within said RFP. The Village Board also voted 6-1 to include an alternate bid option for an EMS Bay within the design. (2/18/19 Minutes).
At the public Village Board meeting on Monday, June 17, 2019 the Board voted 7-0 to approve a professional design services contract with Five Bugles Design with a not-to-exceed cost of $288,500. Two other proposals were considered and are available for the public to review upon request.
Five Bugles Design – Fire Station Professional Design Services Full Proposal (this is a large file and may take time to load)
American Insitute of Architects Document B132
At the public Village Board meeting on Monday, September 16, 2019 the Board voted 5-1 to approve the proposal from Zeise Construction to provide construction management services for the Fire Station #1 project with a not-to-exceed cost of $408,336. (9/16/19 Minutes). Zeise Construction was the lowest cost of four proposals. The other three proposals are available for the public to review upon request.
Zeise Construction Managment Proposal
Working with Five Bugles, the Fire Station Review Committee will continue to help guide the design process. Meetings will be held when it is necessary for the architect to recieve feedback from the committee.
- Fire Station Review Committee Meeting Minutes - August 7, 2019
- Fire Station Review Committee Meeting Agenda (w/o Five Bugles) - August 28, 2019
- Fire Station Review Committee Meeting Agenda - September 19, 2019
- Fire Station Review Committee Meeting Minutes - September 19, 2019
- Fire Station Review Committee Meeting Minutes - October 15, 2019
- Fire Station Review Committee Meeting Minutes - November 20, 2019
- Fire Station Review Committee Meeting Agenda - January 20, 2020
- Fire Station Review Committee Meeting Minutes - February 13, 2020
- Fire Station Review Committee Meeting Minutes - March 4, 2020
Five Bugles presented in open session at the November 4, 2019 Village Board meeting a conceptual design (Conceptual Design "D" - October 17, 2019), which included 20,885 square feet and a construction cost estimate from Zeise Construction of $5,021,309. The Village Board voted in favor of the conceptual design and authorizing Five Bugles Design to proceed with the schematic design package with a vote of 6-1 (November 4, 2019 Minutes).
Five Bugles presented in open session at the December 16, 2019 Village Board meeting a Schematic Design package, which included 20,550 square fee and a construction cost estimate from Zeise Construction of $5,400,000. The Village Board voted in favor of the schematic design package and authorized Five Bugels to proceed with the design development package with a vote of 6-1 (December 16, 2019 Minutes).
Five Bugles presented in open session at the January 6, 2020 Village Board meeting multiple exterior finish options for the fire station design. The Village Board voted in favor of Concept Elevation A with a vote of 7-0 (January 6, 2020 Minutes).
The Village Board voted in open session at the January 20, 2020 Village Board meeting to approve a lease agreement and ambulance service agreement with County Rescue. The agreements will be effective only if the Village Board approves finished the second floor (alternate #2) and once the fire station is operational (targeting April, 2021) through 2035. The Village will pay County Rescue $70,000 annually to provide emergency medical services within the Village. $70,000 is the same rate the Village is paying County Rescue for services provided in 2020. County Rescue will then pay $35,000 annually to the Village of Suamico to lease space within the new fire station (January 20, 2020 Minutes).
Five Bugles presented in open session at the February 17, 2020 Village Board meeting the latest building elevations and updated site layouts. An updated construction cost estimate was provided by Zeise Construction of $5,190,000. This number does not include potential alternate bids that the Village may elect to construct once the actual bids are recieved. Also discussed was a draft debt payment schedule that showed how the Village would pay back the anticipated General Obligation Bond. Based on the current estimates, which includes finishing the second floor, the Village would have debt service payments for the fire station project that average $407,500 for the next 20 years. The Village Board voted to approve the design development phase and authorized Five Bugles to proceed with construction documents including all of the alternate bid options listed in the 2.14.20 cost estimate with a vote of 4-1.
In open session at a Village Board meeting on March 16, 2020 updated furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FFE) cost estimates were discussed as well as an updated all-in cost estimate which included everything from the original Space Needs Study, site prep work, wetland studies, through construction. 3.16.2020 FFE & all-in cost estimates.
In open session at a Village Board meeting on March 23, 2020 Five Bugles presented final site and floor plans. Zeise Construction confirmed their February cost estimate has not changed. The Village Board voted to authorize staff and Zeise Construction to advertise the Fire Station #1 bid packages.
March 24, 2020: Invitation for Bid Document
April 17, 2020: Village Administrator Memo to Village Board. Includes the official bid results, construction cost spreadsheets, and all-in cost estimates.
April 20, 2020: In open session, the Village Board approved the fire station base bids with alternate #3/#4 (concrete aprons) with a vote of 7-0. The Village Board approved alternate #1 (additional apparatus bay) with a vote of 5-2. The Village Board also approved alternate #2 (finish second floor) with a vote of 5-2. Approving alternate #2 binds the Village to the agreements approved on January 20, 2020 with County Rescue. The total cost of construction is projected to be $5,020,211 with the package for overhead doors needing to be re-advertised. Construction will commence in the next couple of weeks and is projected to operational in the spring of 2021.
June 17, 2020: Request for Proposals to purchase the existing Fire Station #1 is advertised.
How Much Does it Cost to Build a Fire Station?
While every facility is unique, here are a few examples of fire stations recently built or under construction in the state of Wisconsin. The primary source of information for each station can be found by clicking on the link under the "Status" column.
|Municipality||Population||Land Square Miles||Approximate Building Sq/Ft.||Status||Approximate Construction Cost|
|Madison (Station #14)||258,054||78.9||20,000||Opened Feb. 2019||$6.3M|
|Eau Claire||65,883||32.6||18,000||Opened July 2018||$4.99M|
|Chippewa Falls||13,661||11.3||20,000||Opened March 2017||$5M|
|Minocqua||4,388||150.8||14,536||Completed Nov. 2017||$3.15M|
Will the New Fire Station Site be Limited by Wetlands?
In short, no. An assured wetland delineation study was completed on August 28, 2019 on the southeast corner of Riverside Drive and W. Deerfield Avenue. This was done to confirm that the new fire station site did not contain wetlands that would prohibit construction. It was determined that only one wetland area existed, which was located in the roadside ditch (to be expected). It was in the opinion of the assured wetland delineator that this wetland was an artificial wetland as defined in WI Statute 281.36(4n)(a)1. Subsequently, we applied for an Artificial Wetland Exemption Determination to the DNR. The DNR approved our exemption request on September 30, 2019, which will allow us to build (e.g., a driveway) where the current roadside ditch exists.
Professionally Assured Wetland Delineation Report
Artificial Wetland Exemption Determination Letter from DNR - 9/30/19
Soil Borings Report 1/23/2020
Will the New Fire Station Raise My Taxes?
At this time a tax increase is not anticipated to fund a new fire station. It is expected that the Village will finance the new facility through funds that are bonded and borrowed in 2020 and repaid through managed debt service payments that are more than offset by planned debt service reductions in 2020, 2022 and 2026;
- 2020 reduction of $336,308.00 for payoff of 2009 General Obligation Note for municipal building, street improvements, and fire & public works equipment.
- 2022 reduction of $374,565.00 for payoff of 2011 General Obligation Note for street improvements, park acquisition, TID #2 improvements, and refinanced bonds.
- 2026 reduction of $164,209.00 for payoff of 2014 General Obligation Note for refinanced 2006 bonds and 2007 note.
- Total reductions in debt service payments through 2026 = $875,082.00.
Financial analysis presented to the Village Board on April 20, 2020. Based on the borrowing of $5.97 million due to soft costs beyond the construction costs and bond issuance costs the Village does not expect to have a higher debt service levy in any of the following 20 years that is higher than the debt service levy in 2019. This analysis includes expected upcoming debt service levy necessary for future projects, including the Lineville Road expansion.
The Village will continue to explore options to reduce the total cost and debt service payments via grant opportunities and soliciting donations.
Thank you to the following local businesses for supporting the new fire station project!
CoVantage Cares - Giving Tuesday Campaign (December 3 - 17, 2019)
On Monday, January 6, 2020 the Village Board passed Resolution 20001 thanking CoVantage Credit Union (Suamico Branch) for their contribution of $6,560.00 to the fire station project.
Suamico Fire Department Fundraising Night with Noodles & Company - Tuesday, February 25, 2020
On Tuesday, February 25, 2020 Noodles & Company on Lineville Road held a fundraiser for the Suamico Fire Department and raised over $1,600 for the fire station project.
Interested in making an in-kind or monetary donation for the new fire station? Please contact Village Administrator, Alex Kaker at (920) 434-2212 or by email at AlexK@suamico.org.
Tentative Schedule (updated February 2020)
August 2019 – Review site analysis & space needs analysis with Five Bugles Design and begin schematic design drawings (includes depicting floor plans, elevations, materials, and draft cost estimate).
December – Schematic design approval
February 2020 – Design development approval (specifies materials, window/door locations, etc.)
March 2020 – Construction documents completed (includes detailed cost estimate)
March/April 2020 – Project bidding
April 2020 to early spring 2021– Construction administration
Who to Contact?
Questions, comments or concerns can be directed to Village Administrator, Alex Kaker. Alex can be reached by phone at (920) 434-2212 or by email at AlexK@suamico.org.