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Stewartville to interview fire hall construction managers

STEWARTVILLE — The Stewartville City Council is paving the way for a new fire hall, even though residents won't vote on the $1.8 million project until March 5.

The council on Tuesday voted to call a special meeting for Feb. 25 to interview three finalists who have submitted bids to serve as construction managers for the fire hall project.

Council member Judy Hanson voted against the meeting, saying that the city shouldn't make plans for a building that Stewartville residents haven't yet voted to build.

But other council members agreed that having a construction manager ready to go would greatly speed up the building's construction if the referendum does pass, and speed is a factor in Minnesota's short construction season.

The fire department is conducting two open houses at the old fire hall to show people the conditions driving the initiative to construct a new fire hall. The open houses will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Feb 21 and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. March 3.


Voting on the referendum has begun. Stewartville residents may cast an absentee ballot at city hall through March 4. The actual vote takes place March 5.

The department has 34 volunteer members who provide services to the townships of High Forest, Pleasant Grove, Racine, Rock Dell, and Sumner as well as the towns of Stewartville and Racine.

In other business

City Administrator Bill Schimmel reported that interior construction continues on the FedEx ground distribution center project at Schumann Business Park. Schimmel reported that he met with Jesse Wolbeck, who will be the new facility and operations manager and who will be on site in April. Shortly after that, the company will hold a job fair. According to a Chamber of Commerce report, the company will be looking for drivers and plant workers for two shifts.

Schimmel also reviewed the city's building permit comparison from 2008 through 2012. For 2012, building permits totaled $9,952,723, up from $7,753,220 in 2011; $7,950,583 in 2010; $4,462,128 in 2009; and $8,287,435 in 2008.

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