Saint Peter is moving into the next stage of developing a new fire station as it looks to gather more information on acquiring a new site and design of the building.

Council members approved up to nearly 7-thousand dollars worth of additional work to gather data on specific sites that have been identified and to look at the design of the building, according to City Administrator Todd Prafke.

The current fire station at 227 West Mulberry Street.

“That work has to be done because all of that impacts what the cost is, how it’s oriented, how much driveway you need. All of those kind of things impact that. So it’s stepping along, stepping along.”

Last year, Five Bugles Design concluded in a study that 5-acres of land would be needed for a new facility and considered seven different sites where the building could be located. The top recommended sites were on Dodd Avenue, outer Traverse Road, near the intersection of Sunrise Drive and Broadway Avenue and a location in the Business Park.

Prafke says a few of the sites will have challenges with access points, but the next step for the Council will be to narrow down a future site.

“Is it big enough to support the building that’s planned and big enough to support the training space that’s planned and big enough to support the parking lot that’s planned.”

While the council has paid for preliminary work using budget reserve funds, the project has still not been budgeted for.

“One of the things that they’re likely to do once they get the budget more fully determined, is pursue a sales tax to help fund a major portion of this enhancement to the community. If they do use sales tax to pursue funding for this, sales tax would have to come at an election. That would likely be in November of 2019. Then it has to have State Legislative approval, which could only come after that election.”

Prafke anticipates that construction of a new fire station wouldn’t likely start until 2021 or 2022.

The current fire station at 227 West Mulberry Street was built in 1928 and City Officials say the building has exceeded its expected life.