URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) – After more than 50 years, Urbana fire officials are asking the city council for an upgrade to two of its fire stations.
The fire chief said the buildings are causing mental and physical safety concerns for his firefighters.
Now, he’s taking those worries and a plan to the city council.
Urbana fire chief Demond Dade said there are several issues with fire station two and three. Including infrastructure, ADA compliance, and even a problem with mice. Which he said mice is the least of their problems.
Those two stations have been around for decades. He said in the last 20 years, the call volume has gone up more than half, and the buildings just weren’t made for that.
But this isn’t a new concern. Dade said in 2017 the city did a facility assessment at all of the city buildings.
They found these two fire stations were at the top of the priority list to be replaced.
“When you look at a 20 or 30-year career, when you add up the hours, my crew members spend 6 to 9 years of their lives in these stations. So, when people look at them just as a place of work, they’re a place of resident for us,” Dade said. “That’s a factor that most people aren’t going to consider when we’re looking at the financial part of these decisions, but I have to.”
The next step took place at the Urbana City Council Monday night.
Dade said FGMA is the architectural firm that won the bid to come up with a new plan for the fire stations.
They’re presenting the several plans they’ve come up with and possible costs to the council Monday.
If that goes through, there will be a public forum. Where you can see renderings and an outline for the stations. Plus, ask your questions and voice any concerns you may have.