FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP - In June 2012, voters in Quincy Township and Precincts 1 and 4 in Franklin Township approved a special assessment district to fund the construction of a new fire hall, and Saturday that process was completed as equipment was moved into the new building on Sunshine Road in Franklin Township.
Construction on the building began in July, and Glenn Ekdahl, Franklin Township supervisor, who was present at the new building Saturday, said it was finished on time and on budget.
A bond, not to exceed $700,000, to fund the fire hall project, was approved by voters in Franklin Township in November. Franklin Township is the owner of the building. The special assessment is 1.7 mills.
Kurt Hauglie/Daily Mining Gazette
Glenn Ekdahl, Franklin Township supervisor, watches Saturday as Franklin-Quincy Fire Chief Dennis Raasio backs one of the department’s trucks into the new fire hall on Sunshine Road in Franklin Township.
"We have to review (the assessment) every year," Ekdahl said.
With engineering costs, Ekdahl said the cost of the building was close to the $700,000 maximum.
The new fire hall is needed, Ekdahl said, because of a safety issue at the current Quincy, Franklin and Hancock Townships Volunteer Fire Department hall on U.S. 41 near the Quincy Mine Hoist, which was built in 1949 when fire fighting equipment was smaller. Vehicles often have to back into traffic on the highway when answering calls.
The Boston Fire Department building has a problem with black mold and the roof is deteriorating.
It was determined the cost to fix the Boston fire hall was about the same as building a new fire hall.
Ekdahl said the new 60-by-70 feet building has plenty of room for the larger equipment, and it should last decades.
"This is for the future fire service of the township," he said.
Hancock Township contracts with the department for fire service, Ekdahl said.
Fire Chief Dennis Raasio said he's been on the department more than 30 years, and he appreciates the new building.
"It's great," he said. "200 percent better."
Raasio said the small size of the old fire hall hindered operations to an extent.
"It restricted us on the types of trucks we could buy," he said.
Being so close to U.S. 41 presented potentially dangerous situations getting in and out of the old building, also, Raasio said.
Firefighter Bob Goudge, who has been on the department 33 years, said he's glad they finally have a new building.
"We needed it a long time," he said.
Dan Dulong has been on the department 43 years, and likes the fact the vehicles have more room to move.
"I feel better (being) off the highway," he said.
Raasio said there will be an open house for the new fire hall sometime in the spring.