Construction of a new fire station means that safety and peace of mind will be a lot closer to home for families in the Town of Alden. Helping to finance the new fire station is a $694,880 zero-interest pass-through loan from Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative, via the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program.
The new station will improve fire, rescue and first-response service for local residents and is part of Allied Emergency Services, a newly formed fire district serving the towns of Osceola, Alden, Garfield and the village of Dresser.
Allied Emergency Services, formerly D.O.G. (Dresser, Osceola, Garfield) Fire Association, provides emergency response to 8,162 people and 3,913 homes, and has existing fire stations in the Village of Dresser and the Town of Garfield. “We’re excited to announce the groundbreaking of Alden Fire Station, our newest facility in our expanded service territory,” said Dan Burch, chairman, Allied Emergency Services.
“Many of these rural families are electric co-op members, and we are proud to be a part of this project that looks out for their long-term needs and improves our local quality of life,” said Ed Gullickson, Polk-Burnett board president.
The new three-bay fire station will be located at 1846 West Church Road, Star Prairie, at the intersection of 185th Street and Church Road in the Town of Alden. The 6,000-square-foot facility will provide garage space for six emergency vehicles, including a pumper truck, brush/grass fire rig and first responder vehicle.
The land has been acquired and cleared, and the building design plans have received state approval. Construction of the new fire station started October 29, with an anticipated completion date set for May 15. Berghammer Builders of Clayton is the general contractor.
Total construction cost is $904,725. Eighty percent of the cost ($694,880) will be paid with a USDA Rural Economic Development Loan from Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative at zero-percent interest, which will save taxpayers $350,000 in interest payments. The remaining 20% of the project ($173,720) will be paid with a loan from Bremer Bank in Amery.
“We greatly appreciate and are thankful to Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative for the zero-percent interest loan,” said Dan Burch, chairman, Allied Emergency Services. “Because of their generosity, considerable cost savings will benefit the community and Allied Emergency Services.”
“The zero-interest loan from Polk-Burnett via the USDA provides $350,000 in savings for fire district taxpayers and allows us to support our communities far beyond our electric service,” said Gullickson. “We are excited to receive USDA funding for this project; this is an opportunity to make a difference in our community.”
As a cooperative, Polk-Burnett is eligible for USDA loans to support rural economic development; our participation does not impact rates for members.
Polk-Burnett is a local electric cooperative that belongs to the members it serves. It was established 80 years ago in 1938 with lines, poles and the notion that we all prosper by helping each other. Today, the cooperative spirit continues, and Polk-Burnett delivers reliable electricity to more than 20,000 members with efficiency and extraordinary service.
Pictured at the October 30 groundbreaking are Polk-Burnett Board President Ed Gullickson, General Manager Steve Stroshane and Operations Manager Ed Johansen with Chairman Dan Burch and members of Allied Emergency Services; representatives from the offices of U.S. Senator Ron Johnson and U.S. Congressman Sean Duffy; project managers from contractor Berghammer Builders; and representatives from Bremer Bank, who is also helping to finance the project.