Fire hall estimates double

Milaca City Manager Greg Lerud reported to the City Council last Thursday that a project for an addition at the fire hall has hit a snag.

Plans are to build an addition on the north end of the west fire hall building to house North Ambulance’s ambulance, as well as provide sleeping quarters.

Negotiations with North Ambulance have been ongoing since 2011 but an architect’s estimate of the cost last week was nearly double that of the original estimate.

The architect from the city’s consulting engineering firm made an estimate last year of $180,000 but the most recent estimate was for $345,000, Lerud told council members.

“Both North and Fairview want the ambulance moved [from the clinic site],” Lerud told council members, “so we’re going to explore some other options.”

Lerud said he agreed with North Ambulance that the $345,000 figure was too high. Plans are that the lease with North will cover the cost of construction.

Lerud said there was no “good explanation” for why the two estimates by the same company were so far apart.

Plans are to bring additional options to the council at its Sept. 13 meeting.

(Note: The September council meeting has been moved from Sept. 20 to Sept. 13.)