Traer’s new fire station building takes shape

City Council makes appointments, provides update on Traer Man

Construction on the new Traer Fire building located on Second Street directly adjacent to the main station is pictured on Wednesday, Dec. 7. The new building’s primary function will be to house the department’s trucks including the aerial truck which does not fit in the existing building. PHOTO BY RUBY F. MCALLISTER

Construction began recently on Traer Fire’s new building in the empty lot located directly east of the main station at 648 Second Street.

During the Dec. 5 Traer City Council meeting, city council member and deputy fire chief Matt Rausch gave a very brief update on the building’s progress, telling his fellow members thus far the poles had been put in place on the $297k project.

The new 50-by-88, six bay building is being constructed next to the fire station in order to house the department’s biggest trucks including its new aerial truck, while the main building will continue to be used for training, storage, meetings, kitchen and bathroom facilities, etc.

This past summer, the city earmarked roughly $240,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds toward the project with the fire department further dedicating both city and rural set-aside funds plus some fundraising to the project’s finances.

The hope is that the building will be done before winter sets in completely.

City appointments

Appointments to city boards and city positions for the year 2023 also took place during the December meeting including the reappointment of Kathy Kvidera and Patty Calderwood to the planning and zoning board.

Haley Blaine was reappointed to the position of city clerk and treasurer, while Julie Mask was likewise reappointed to deputy city clerk.

Council member Carri Holst was reappointed to mayor pro tem.

Brent Lechtenberg was reappointed to city attorney.

Traer Manufacturing building update

Toward the end of the meeting, a brief update was given by Blaine on the state of affairs surrounding the deteriorating, former Traer Manufacturing building – damaged extensively in the 2011 derecho – located on US 63 on the south side of town.

In 2012 the city was deeded the property by its parent company and in 2015, Heartland Co-op acquired the property from the city with the understanding the company was to undertake remediation work on the damaged building using $200,000 in funds earmarked for such purpose.

The decision was made during the November council meeting to move forward with beginning to fine Heartland Co-op for the nuisance violation as no remediation work had yet to take place.

Heartland’s attorney contacted the city recently, Blaine said, and explained they would have a plan to the city for remediation by the middle of December.

Blaine said Heartland was “declining” the city’s ordinance violation fine. In the meantime, the city would continue to pursue nuisance proceedings if no plan is presented.

January meeting rescheduled

In light of city offices being closed on Monday, January 2, due to New Year holiday, the next regular meeting of the Traer City Council is set for Monday, January 9 at 7 p.m. at City Hall.