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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Plans ablaze again for new fire department

Thursday, September 11, 2008

It looks as though the fires are burning once again to locate funds to put up a new fire department in the community. It is hoped that enthusiasm spreads and many people want to jump on the fire truck and help make the new structure - estimated at $1.3 million - a reality.

Alta Fire Chief Gary "Mo" Molgaard addressed the city council Monday night and unveiled new plans which he is excited about.

Last fall, Molgaard and several of his firemen unveiled plans for a new building that would include space for the fire department, police department and even an area to serve as a fitness center for the community to use. The price tag on that structure was $1.7 million.

It was hoped that funding would come through for the proposed 166' x 66' building. It was felt that the cost was just too much and the funding did not become available as it was hoped.

Chief Molgaard and his crew haven't given up on the idea.

It was back to the architects with ideas to slice the cost and eliminate some of the footage. The new plans include space for the fire department and a smaller fitness center; space for the police department is no longer in the picture. The cost has been brought down to $1.3 million but Molgaard pointed out to the council that some of the contingency costs have already been paid as well as about one-third of the architectural/engineering fees. This could bring down the cost to about $1 million.

"We've screwed it down to about as small as I can get it for our needs," Molgaard said.

The proposed 8,000-square-foot building - which includes a six-truck bay area, an apparatus room, training room, two restrooms, a fitness center and storage area - would be constructed on Lake Street with entry on the west side.

"We've made it smaller, included a different type of roof and used different construction material. It's less expensive," he said, "but it's still not cheap. The fire department has about $150,000 in its fund, collected from several fundraisers held over the past year. That's a piece of change but we have a long way to go. We've been working a long time to get this far." Molgaard then asked the council, "How much can you help me?"

He added that it has been a big job to get to this point and it will be an even more difficult task to find the funds. He will present information to the Alta Utility Board as well in hopes they will make a donation for the construction of the proposed building.

"This is a great plan and circumstances beyond our control it has been sidelined for awhile. We believe this building will last forever and it is gig enough to meet our needs. There is also room for expansion if the police ever want to move in. I'm an eternal optimist and I believe we can get this done if get the right people and the financial support we need."

He concluded, "If we'd have to scrap it, that would just kill me."

If you would like to learn more about the proposed project contact Chief Molgaard or any of the other fire fighters. If you would like to donate funds to the project, please send them to:

201 East Second St.,

P.O. Box 36

Alta, Iowa 51002

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