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Montevideo City Council looks at fire hall project

MONTEVIDEO -- Montevideo City Council members are interested in discussing the need for a new fire hall, but are cautious about moving ahead due to the current economic situation.

City Manager Steve Jones said council members discussed the fire hall situation at their meeting Monday but made no decisions. Council members would like to possibly host an open house and hold more discussions with community members before making any decisions.

The current fire hall is not large enough to meet the needs of the department.

Replacing it with a new structure is considered one of the city's priorities.

Council members reviewed a proposal by Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc., of St. Cloud, to look at completing a space needs study for the city. The company said it would cost $7,500 to complete a study on whether the existing station can be rehabilitated and expanded. The costs to develop a plan for a new facility could cost up to $24,500, depending on the menu of work requested. A new fire hall could cost an estimated $2.75 million. Financing through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development could be obtained on a 4 percent loan repaid over 40 years. It would raise local taxes by 8 or 9 percent, according to initial estimates.