A new, more modern fire station in Lake Saint Louis that would serve portions of that city and Dardenne Prairie could break ground in December and be open by this time next year.
The Lake Saint Louis Board of Aldermen approved a site plan for the station at its Oct. 17 board meeting. The city’s planning and zoning commission had recommended the plan at its Oct. 6 meeting.
Plans have to still be reviewed by the city’s development review board and building permits still must be approved by the city but Wentzville Fire Protection District Chief Michael Marlo is confident that construction can start in December.
“We get the permits, we send this thing out to bid, we hope to get a foundation before hard winter,” Marlo said.
The new 13,363-square foot station will be built on 2.61 acres adjacent to its present station, at the intersection of Orf Road and the old portion of Highway N, south of Hawk Ridge Trail. The station is just inside the Lake Saint Louis city limits.
Cliff Heitmann, president of Bax Engineering, told aldermen that the old station will continue to be used while the new station is built. The station, House 4, will be largely similar in appearance to other station houses being built or under construction by the district. Construction should take about 10 months.
The district will sell the old station site once the new station is operational, he said. “We would do what’s best for the taxpayers,” Marlo said. “And what that means more than likely is we would get a fair value appraisal and probably list it for sale but that is up to the board [district board of directors].”
The new station is funded by a $30 million bond issue and a property tax increase approved by district voters in August 2014. The revenue will allow the district to build two new firehouses, add 24 firefighters and equipment.
The district covers 88 square miles and stretches to the Warren County line to the west, Lincoln County line to the north, and areas south of Interstate 70.
The district boundaries generally follow the same boundaries as the Wentzville School District and include Wentzville and unincorporated areas along with portions of O’Fallon, Lake Saint Louis, Dardenne Prairie and the villages of Flint Hill and Josephville.
The Lake Saint Louis Fire Protection District provides fire protection from two stations that cover much of the older part of the city with the Wentzville Fire Protection District providing services in the southern part of the city.
The new station may house the district’s 100-foot ladder truck, needed to reach upper floors of tall buildings, and four personnel but Marlo said plans could change depending on services needed.
The population of the district is booming with major residential development on the rise, he said. “It could be a ladder truck, it could be a new engine company but we’re not sure yet,” Marlo said. “The ladder [truck] will be placed in a strategic location to cover the entire district.”
Meanwhile, the board also approved a site plan for a 4,895-square-foot building for West Community Credit Union on a 1.06-acre tract at the northeast corner of Highway N and Ridgeway Drive, south of Pond Fort Trail and west of Ronald Reagan Drive.