Geneva City Council, Rural Fire District moving forward on new fire hall

GENEVA – Residents in Geneva’s Rural Fire District voted 119-63 in favor of a new fire station last November. It’s a project the city has been looking at for about five years.

“We’ve been researching different sites around town,” Geneva city administrator Kyle Svec said. “Many different sites, many different opinions. We wanted to do it right, so we were diligent in it. We looked at each site independently.”

Current estimates have the project costing about $1.8 million. This coming Monday, the City Council will vote to send the project out to potential bidders. They hope to have the final cost in a month or two.

Svec said it’s possible the total cost could dip down to either $1.3 or $1.4 million.

“We’re just finalizing the design and the plans,” Svec said. “A lot of the firemen are very involved, and are taking ownership of it. So, we want to do it right the first time. We met the other day – hopefully we get those plans where they’re 100%, and we’re ready to go to bid.”

The current fire hall has five doors and houses eight trucks. The new one could house up to 11 trucks and will provide much more space for training and other equipment.

“A new station I think would help the existing firefighters have a lot of pride in a new station and new equipment,” Geneva City/Rural Fire chief Mike Grothe said. “I also think it would help with the recruitment and retainment of fire and rescue members.”

There are about 45 volunteer firefighters with the Geneva City/Rural Fire District.

The city hopes to begin construction this July, with expected completion coming next March or April.

Chief Grothe has been with the department for over 30 years. For him, and many others, this new fire station has been a long time coming.

“The department needs to keep growing all the time with new capabilities that are required of us,” Grothe said. “A new station fits in very well with that.”

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