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La Crosse Fire Department investigating potential fifth station

Drew Kelly

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The City of La Crosse Fire Department is moving ahead in where a potential fifth fire station should go.

The La Crosse city council granted approval last week to go forward.

Fire Chief Ken Gilliam said an extensive investigation revealed that the new station should be on the south side.

“We have been looking at call volume analysis for a 10-year span,” Gilliam said. “We also want to get even coverage throughout the city.”

Gilliam added that, in looking into costs for other stations around the country, the average price is between $5 million and $6 million.

The next few months will also be spent in how to come up with that money.

“We’ve asked for money to be put into the capital budget for 2020,” Gilliam said. “This is an opportunity for citizens to come out to meetings and let leaders know the fire stations are a priority for them.”

Gilliam added that, whether or not they expand their physical footprint, they won’t need more manpower.

“One of the assurances we gave the task force was that we could move to a fifth station without having to expand our annual staffing,” Gilliam said. “We’ve figured out a way to reallocate our resources with how the rigs move around the city.”

Gilliam believes the process would take another five years or so.

Born in Decorah Iowa. I've been a news reporter for the last 10 years, starting right out of college in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Other professional opportunities led me to Marshalltown, Iowa and Antigo Wisconsin, before I finally was afforded the opportunity here in La Crosse. I've been here since 2016. I also act as the voice of local sports, doing play by play of high school and college football and basketball. When not working I enjoy golfing.

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