Soil tests for fire station so far favor Newton location

Published 11:25 pm Friday, August 10, 2018

Initial soil reports on possible sites for the new Albert Lea fire station favor the location east of the Freeborn County Law Enforcement.

Albert Lea City Manager Chad Adams released the initial report Thursday during a special meeting at Albert Lea City Garage. He said the soil at Blazing Star Landing — the other  proposed site for the station — would need to be completely remediated along with a good portion of the site outside the building’s footprint, as compared to the Newton Avenue site, which he said would only need to be stabilized.

“That specific part of the project, comparing apples to apples, will be cheaper, or less expensive, for the Newton site, but there are so many other factors,” he said.

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Adams said grading costs and building a retaining wall on the Newton Avenue site would likely be more expensive than doing so on Blazing Star Landing.

The council has entered closed sessions during meetings to discuss the Newton Avenue site, which includes 213 and 217 E. Pearl St.; 411, 415 and 417 S. Newton Ave.; 220 and 224 E. College St.; and 406, 408, 410 and 412 E. Elizabeth St.

Additional soil borings are expected next week. The earliest the council is expected to discuss the sites is Aug. 27, and the earliest date the council will select the site is early September.

Under a best-case scenario, Adams said the facility could be complete in late 2019.

The planned approximately 25,000-square-foot fire station has been estimated to cost nearly $7 million, including site grading and mitigation and construction of the facility. The cost did not cover the projected cost to acquire the building.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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