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Crosslake: Council OKs study to evaluate emergency services, city hall facilities

Crosslake is making safety a top priority with a $23,000 space needs study for fire, police and city administrative facilities.

The city council agreed at its Monday, July 9, meeting to hire Five Bugles Design, of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, to do the study.

Police Chief Erik Lee said he and Fire Chief Chip Lohmiller settled on Five Bugles after investigating architectural firms, which they were instructed to do at a May 29 special council meeting where discussion centered around updating the emergency services facilities.

Architects will look at the current city hall and emergency services buildings to see if additions can be made or recommend building something new. Lee said he and Lohmiller recommend staying on the current property, where police, fire, ambulance and city administration will be able to continue working together.

"In reality, we're still in a stick-built building for your public safety," Lee said, emphasizing the importance of this study.

Public Works Director Ted Strand noted issues with the current city hall and emergency services facilities, including old air conditioners, mold and rotting door and window frames

"This facility's getting tired," Strand said. "And before we put more money into this, let's look at a legitimate study and try to figure out which way to go."

Lohmiller told the council to remember that as the city grows, emergency services must grow too.

"We're growing, but the facility's too small to grow," Lohmiller said, noting his department has maxed out all the space in the fire hall and even has a vehicle permanently parked outside because there's no room inside.

In terms of finances, Lee said the police department budgeted for a squad car this year but will not be buying one, so the money for the study can come from that fund.

The Crosslake Police Department responded to 237 incidents in June, seven crashes, four fires, two burglaries, two thefts and one traffic arrest. Police assisted other agencies 22 times.

In Mission Township, police responded to 72 incidents in June, including one theft and one traffic arrest.

The Crosslake Fire Department responded to 38 calls in June, including 27 medical assists, two building fires, one automobile fire and one vehicle crash with injuries.