USDA State Rural Development Director Jasper Schneider was in West Fargo Friday to check the status of the new West Fargo Southside Fire Station located off at Sheyenne Street at 445 29th Ave. W.
Needless to say, he was pleased with the progress that has occurred at the facility since participating in the initial groundbreaking ceremony conducted last fall.
Fire Chief Roy Schatschneider, who conducted a tour of the site, described the status "as a work in progress with everything running right on schedule. We are still heavily into the construction phase with contractor Roers Construction still on schedule to finish their work by the end of the month."
Among the guests attending the event were West Fargo Mayor Rich Mattern, City Commissioner Lou Bennett, who holds the fire and police department portfolios, Police Chief Arland Rasmussen and assistant Chief Mike Reitan, some members of the Fire Dept. Board of Director and Building Committee, as well as a contingency of Schneider staff members.
Schatschneider noted that once the interior work is completed, it will take an additional four to six weeks for other finishing work and installation of equipment, eyeing an April timeframe to be actually up and running and responding to fire calls.
Crews are presently busy painting the interior and putting the finishing touches on other inside work remaining. Most of the exterior construction is complete, with the exception of landscaping and the installation of an emergency generator.
Schatschneider said the need for the southside location has been warranted by the ongoing population growth in developments south of I-94.
For that reason he said, the station for the most par will focus on servicing that area, with a group of volunteer firemen living in the vicinity already committed to responding to calls to the location.
Once complete, the 8,500 square foot structure will have five bays to house equipment as well as office space for future 24-hour staffing, and additional space for storage. The police department space will include one bay and a portion of the office and storage areas dedicated to their use.
When asked by Schneider what types of comments officials have been receiving regarding the new location, Police Chief Rasmussen said he has been hearing good things. "The community is really excited. They really like the looks of the building and what it is developing into."
The original headquarters for the fire department is located at 106 1st St. E., while the Police Department is located in West Fargo City Hall at 800 4th Ave. E.
The $1.5 million project is being financed through the United States Department of Agricultural Rural Development program and the West Fargo Fire Department's building fund.