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Some renovations to fire district delayed

Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

SPRING GROVE – Some improvements at the Spring Grove Fire Protection District will have to wait until the next fiscal year, its board of trustees decided.

The fire department will go ahead with upgrading its exterior pole lights, making repairs and switching to low-energy bulbs, Fire Chief Rich Tobiasz said.

The repairs will cost the district $14,700, so the board decided to upgrade the lights at the same time for an additional $1,100.

The department will apply for a grant to reimburse its costs when the work is done, something it has been successful with in the past, Tobiasz said.

Since the 2005 expansion of the department, the lighting has been upgraded to make it more energy efficient. The expansion included adding three bays to the apparatus bay area in 2005 so it could house more trucks; a temporary sleeping area; additional offices; and a bigger classroom.

The changes have resulted in $200 worth of savings a month, Tobiasz said.

The staff also will make some minor improvements, including painting one of the corridors in the old section of the building.

Renovations to the dayroom bunk room will have to wait, though, because the department also is looking to replace a 26-year-old firetruck, Tobiasz said. The board also is talking about upgrading the overhead radio system so it can be turned off in the sleeping area.

The plan is to add two bunk spaces so paramedic students who assist the regular firefighters while training have a place to sleep. Currently they’re sleeping on air mattresses or reclining chairs, Tobiasz said.

Original estimates put the cost at $60,000.

“Do you need to have it or is the firetruck more important?” Tobiasz said of the sleeping area improvements. “A firetruck is probably more important to somebody whose house is on fire.”

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