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Fire

A Casper firefighter salts water from the truck on Feb. 28 while working at the scene of a fire on East Second Street.

A 40-year-old fire station in Casper is one step closer to being replaced.

The Casper City Council authorized a nearly $3 million agreement with Caspar Building Services for the Fire-EMS Station No. 5 project at its Tuesday night meeting.

The new facility will be located at the intersection of Landmark and Pay It Forward drives.

“We believe it will serve the community well,” Dan Griswold, the fire department’s deputy chief of operations and training, said Wednesday.

Griswold said construction is expected to begin in the next month or two. Department officials are hoping to move into the new station by April 2019.

The facility’s new location and larger size will help the department work more effectively, said Griswold.

Former Fire Chief Kenneth King told the Star-Tribune last summer that the department desperately needed a larger facility. At roughly 9,000 square feet, the new building will be approximately three times larger than the current station.

The new address will also help to improve the department’s response times, said King. Station No. 5’s current location — at the intersection of East 15th Street and Carriage Lane — isn’t ideal because it’s near Fire Station No. 3.

The aging station has a variety of other problems, such as cracking concrete floors.

The current station will remain open until the new facility is fully operational.

The new station will be paid for by one cent funds, according to a recent memo from the Public Services Department to City Manager Carter Napier.

Other public safety departments are also in need of new infrastructure.

The Casper Police Department moved into its current headquarters on David Street in 1976 and former Police Chief Jim Wetzel told the Star-Tribune last spring that the building is too small to meet its current needs.

The City Council discussed replacing the police station during a two-day strategic planning workshop last week at the Casper Events Center. Council members decided they will explore potential locations and funding sources for a new police station this year.

Katie King covers the city of Casper.

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Local Government Reporter

Katie King joined the Star-Tribune in 2017 and primarily covers issues related to local government. She previously worked as a crime reporter in the British Virgin Islands. Originally from Virginia, Katie is a graduate of James Madison University.

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