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Waukesha is another step closer to having a new fire station.

The city’s common council on Sept. 20 approved a design contract with the local architectural firm Fischer-Fischer-Theis Inc. for the proposed Fire Station No. 3, which the city plans to relocate between Genesee Road and Fox River Parkway, along Highway 59.

Relocation of the station, which currently sits at 1210 Sentry Drive, has been discussed for years, and the plan took a big step forward in August when the city bought the land where the new station will sit – on a vacant lot next to St. John Neumann Catholic Church.

That sale closed at the end of last month. The city paid $420,000 for the property, according to the purchase contract.

The project as a whole is expected to cost around $4.5 million, and in addition to a new fire station, includes a police substation and a new parks, recreation and forestry building.

Previous designs

According to city planning documents, FFT has designed two other Waukesha fire stations, Nos. 2 and 5. Those buildings were similar in size, so the design plans and specifications for them also had a lot in common, the documents said.

The contract to design the new Fire Station No. 3 is for $168,000.

City staff said the plans should secure plan commission approval by the end of this year. The department of public works will bid out the project in January 2017.

An estimate of when the plans will first appear on a plan commission agenda was not immediately available.

The current Fire Station No. 3 is about 2 miles, or five minutes, northeast of where the new station will stand.

Project history

City officials have said a new fire station is needed along that particular stretch of Highway 59 so the fire department can better meet its seven-minute response time goal in a small section of that portion of the city ,which has seen its boundaries expand over the last several years.

Alderman Aaron Perry, whose district includes the area around the new station, spurred talk about the department's response times there in July 2013 after the department took almost 10 minutes to respond to a house fire in the 1600 block of Moccasin Trail.

The council previously voted to relocate Fire Station No. 2, from 1701 Stardust Drive to 1714 Pearl St., which at the time was also outside the seven-minute response time goal. That station moved in 2012.

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