Answers to common questions about possible fire hall location
As many of you have read over the past weeks in the paper, the fire department, city officials, and park officials are asking for public input on locating the proposed new hall on the south half of the South Side Park.
The Department is planning a community picnic on September 9 at that location in an effort to show the citizens of Rugby and the surrounding rural residents our plans and explain our proposal on why the fire department feels this is the best location in town. We encourage as many residents to attend as possible.
At this point, public opinion is being sought on the location only. The location needs to be set so we can move on with other phases such as applying for grants and other funding for a building at some point in the future.
The department is convinced this location will accomplish all the goals we have set for a new location. We are also convinced this location will enhance an area of the park that is underdeveloped. If done correctly this building could potentially offer space to host park events in the case of inclement weather. There are also additional features the department is offering that will add additional enhancements to an already great park.
The proposal the fire department has brought forward will not have any impact to the playground area. There will be a buffered area between the proposed building spot and any playground equipment already located in the park. The only item that will be impacted is the basketball court that currently sits on the south end. The department has offered to relocate this court at the direction of the park board as part of the project. Keep in mind many of the firefighters are parents and all are taxpayers in the City of Rugby and have drafted this proposal with that in mind.
Here are some questions that we have received in regards to the project and our answers.
1) Why the south side of the park?
a. Access directly to major routes will improve response times.
b. Public safety will be improved by moving out of downtown Rugby.
c. Firefighter safety will be improved by moving traffic out of residential areas and providing additional room to put gear on away from the responding units.
d. Land acquisition costs will be minimal.
e. Department Training requirements increasing and no room at the current location.
f. Site preparation costs will be minimal.
g. Will not use up land that could be used to draw future business to Rugby.
2) How will this project affect the park?
a.Potential enhancements with addition of picnic shelters off the back of the building
b. Building to host park related events in case of inclement weather
c. Playground area will be left intact (including trees around the equipment)
d. Basketball court would be relocated to another area of park. Additional courts could be potentially added as part of project in other areas.
e. Area would be landscaped to the approval of park officials
Over the past couple of weeks and in the upcoming weeks prior to the picnic, the department plans to meet with as many people as we can. We have been meeting with area boards and groups in an effort to ask for public support.
The department is excited about this proposal and would like to personally invite everyone to the park on September 9. After viewing the plans we would ask everyone to contact their elected city officials and voice their opinions. Also, if you have any questions or would like further clarification, please contact the fire department officials. We will be happy to explain the proposal with you and answer any questions that you may have. Please come out and support our proposal.
Schneibel is a Rugby resident and member of the Rugby Volunteer Fire Department.
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