New Fire Hall Drawing

By Laura Bacon/ Staff Writer

Artist rendering of what the new fire hall could look like.

AUDUBON — The Audubon Knights of Columbus will be hosting a Fish Fry benefiting Audubon Fire and Rescue’s new fire hall project today at the St. Patrick’s Parish Hall at 102 Market Street, from 5-7:30 p.m.

All proceeds will go to the new fire hall. Meals are $10 for adults, $5 for kids. This will be the first of a series of fish frys: the annual Lenten Fish Frys will begin Feb. 28, at the same location, time and cost, and will continue through April 3.

The department has been looking at building a new fire station for some time and the donation of the former Landus building, just south of the City Shop and current fire station, in October 2018, made the idea more possible.

Currently the fire department and city of Audubon are coordinating on a plan to tear down that building to make room for the new station. By giving ownership of the Landus building to the city, there will be grant money available to help with the demolition and clean up of the site. Last fall, the Audubon Fire and Rescue Association received at $2,500 grant from the Audubon Community Foundation to use towards asbestos removal from the Landus building, and the Audubon County Cattlemen’s Association made a $2,500 donation towards the building project as well.

Officials have said the estimated cost for the new fire station would be between $1.9 and $2.5 million, though more recent estimates are around $2 million. The new building would be considerably larger than the current fire station — which is about 60 by 90 feet.

There would be additional room for locker rooms, a weightlifting area, training area, larger meeting room and kitchen, and in general, more room for the department’s trucks. The design allows trucks to go around and pull into the building from the back, so they are positioned to pull out the front in an emergency.

Today’s fire equipment keeps getting larger and larger, and more room was needed.

A special account has been set up for donations towards the new building and other fund raisers have been held, like a New Year’s eve steak dinner night. Individuals are welcome to make contributions as well.