This story has been corrected. An earlier version of the story included an incorrect cost of the proposed project and mistakenly called the project a firehouse renovation.
City of New Vienna hosted a fundraiser kickoff for a new municipal building and firehouse construction project Feb. 10, in an effort to educate citizens and gather community support for project that could break ground as soon as this summer.
Mayor Pat Hermsen, also a longtime fireman with the city, unveiled plans from Demmer Architecture for the project, which will cost approximately $980,000.
“The cost of construction is more than our city of 400 people can handle,” Hermsen said. “So to help us counter that, we’re reaching out to our rural patrons of our fire department.”
Hermsen said that some of the funding would come from property taxes, but that donations would also comprise a large percentage as well.
The project would add much needed space for the fire department, which currently includes 30 firefighters and EMS workers. The plan would also add a community center with a capacity of 200 plus people — a project that has seen significant community support, according to Hermsen.
“This was originally just a one stall station built in the 1950s, with multiple additions up until the 1980s” Hermsen said. “The problem we’re running into is, with all the training and demands and services, there’s not enough room for us to train and operate in this building, especially in the wintertime. We also need to update our pumper, and any of the trucks we’ve found so far won’t fit in our current building.”
New Vienna will be collecting donations for the project over the next 40 days. Hermsen said that the city is looking for $300,000 to start the project. If all goes well, ground could be broken this spring, with the building seeing a completion date before the fall of 2019.