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Get fire hall site picked by year’s end

By Staff | Apr 23, 2010

Wanted: A large vacant lot in the middle of town, along a major road, preferably N.D. Highway 3, and one that is not near schools or parks and is suitable for building.

If available, call the Rugby Volunteer Fire Department.

Unfortunately, Rugby fire officials know they would be waiting a long time for that call because the simple fact is there isn’t a perfect lot that fits that description.

At least not one that is on city-owned property.

For the better part of three years the department has been exploring potential sites for a future fire hall, but is no closer now to finding a location. And until one is selected, the project remains in flux.

The prime city or public-owned sites most talked about have their drawbacks.

-The lot across from M.J. McGuire’s to the west along N.D. Highway 3 has unsuitable soil and engineers don’t recommend building on the property.

-The lot just west of the Rugby Farmers Union Oil Company main station north of the underpass is too small and is not a good access onto N.D. Highway 3. Plus, it’s on the north side, far from where most volunteer firefighters live and work.

-And discussion about using a portion of Southside park along N.D. Highway 3 has garnered little public support, including from the park board.

So what is the department to do?

One of two things. Consider public property not necessarily in the center of town and along N.D. 3, but that provides other positives, including adequate space to build a larger hall and room for training. Or, revisit some private property that could be purchased and that is located in a prime area for a hall.

Purchasing property no doubt would add to the total cost of the project, but it would insure a good location is found.

The department doesn’t want to rush into this decision, but it knows it needs to make one to move the project along.

The department’s goal should be to settle on a lot before the year ends.

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