City leaders in La Crosse are moving ahead with planning for a new north-side fire station, while waiting to see if the 80-plus-year-old firehouse is declared a historic building.
The city plan commission approved proposals Monday to vacate the alley behind Fire Station 4 on Gillette Street and rezone some residential land on the block for public use.
Fire Chief Ken Gilliam said a historic designation will change plans for the new station.
“So, if it’s designated as historic and the council supports doing something else without a fire station, we’ll change scope and it’ll take a few months of new architectural design,” Gilliam said.
The original plans for a new station depended on the existing firehouse being torn down, which many citizens oppose.
The city council judiciary committee will discuss a referral of the project Tuesday night.
North-side council member Andrea Richmond says demolition of old homes for a new station needs to proceed.
“It’s time to get these buildings taken down,” Richmond said. “I think it’s going to be a serious issue if you aren’t taking ’em down pretty soon.”
The commission called for a 30-day delay for a work permit on the station project until a decision is made on whether to grant the existing firehouse historic status.