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2nd fire station on agendas
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MONROE - The City of Monroe Finance and Taxation Committee may take one more step closer to getting a fire station on the west side when it meets Monday to discuss bonding and financing.

Discussion also will include financing the 8th/9th Street project.

The city's 2010 budget includes $900,000 in the fire department's capital outlay, with proceeds intended to come from long term-debt.

The Monroe City Common Council has scheduled a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday to discuss the proposed west side fire station and possibly authorize Fire Chief Daryl Rausch to seek bids.

The Public Safety Committee chose a 2.3-acre lot in the Honey Creek Business and Industrial Park on Dec. 2, 2007, as the proposed site for the new station.

The property needed to be designated in order for Rausch to apply for grants and loans for construction.

The property would come off the tax rolls in am area of strong economic growth; however, so far the undeveloped property has not contributed to the tax base. The lot is irregularly shaped, and a large retention pond north of the site will limit any expansion of the site in that direction.

The city property was chosen because its size allowed for future expansion for training, and it would minimize the cost to tax payers, according to Rausch.

Five other properties on the west side were considered. The values of the other properties, each about one acre in size, were in excess of $100,000 each. All the sites on the west side were acceptable locations for the purpose of decreasing the department's response times to that area.

Rausch wants the station particularly to reduce the response time to the west side, which has expanded in recent years. The normal response time to the west side is about 14 minutes, while east-side calls are about 6 to 8 minutes. Several city alderpersons toured the present fire station in November 2007 and noted the crowed conditions, which they said will be a factor in their decision to build a second station.

The council has not yet committed to building the fire station. The station must be approved by the council before the project can move forward.