CHERRY — The site of the old Cherry Fire Department was a busy one this week, as contractors demolished the building and hauled away the rubble, in preparation for a new fire station.
In April 2013, residents of Cherry voted “yes” in the primary election for Cherry Fire Protection District to issue $100,000 in bonds to improve the site location and build and equip a new fire station.
According to village trustee Jim Hoscheid, the old building, which was close to 60 years old, faced structural issues and had been sinking into the ground over time. Also, the old building provided no space for firefighters to meet for training.
The fire department consists of four fire trucks and 25 volunteer firefighters.
“It was pretty tight before, and the new building will give us more room to work around without having to move vehicles from the building to meet,” he explained.
Hoscheid said the construction is expected to begin immediately following excavation work that must be done to the site before the project begins. Completion of the new building is expected to take about five to six weeks.
“That’s with wishful thinking, however. Change in the weather could (prohibit) that,” Hoscheid said.
During the time of construction, the fire trucks are temporarily being housed at a resident’s farm shed just outside of town.
Once, the project is completed and firefighters become acquainted with the new space, Hoscheid said an open house for residents to visit and tour the new building will be held. The time frame on the event is sometime late summer or early fall.
Hoscheid spoke out on behalf of the village board and fire protection district in saying how grateful everyone was in having the opportunity to provide a better fire station for the community.
“We’re just very grateful to the taxpayers for voting yes to issue the bonds for this project. It was really needed,” he said.
Cherry Mayor Bob McCook also expressed his enthusiasm with the project.
“I believe it will be a nice addition to the Main Street and be an improvement to the look of our downtown and also help our firefighters be able to get in and out of the trucks faster than they could before with such a tight space,” he said.
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