Wausau Fire Department set to move into new station in May

More than four years after receiving funding to build the new Wausau Fire Department, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved the project’s final grant to purchase furnishings, generators, and other supplies.

The project began in 2018 after the department received $985,500 in state-allocated funds to build a new facility. Construction was completed in 2021, but according to Assistant Chief Adam Smith, the $153,681.41 in federal funding approval has been delayed. 

“For whatever reason, approval of the USDA Urban grant funding has been very slow,” said Smith. “We have been waiting for quite some time and now that we have approval, we are getting everything ordered and on its way to us.”

Those items include racks, kitchen appliances, washer and dryer, smart boards, office supplies and flooring for the office areas. Items costing more than $10,000 must go out for bid. The only item this applies to are the generators, which Smith says are currently out to bid. 

“We have received one bid so far for the generators,” said Smith. “The bids are expected to be within the month. Once those are in, we can get the generators ordered and on their way.”

Landscaping the grounds was completed last May, thanks to the county who donated trees and shrubs. Members of Washington County 4-H and Florida Forestry Service provided the hands-on work needed to plant the foliage. 

Elitecrete Decorative Concrete completed the epoxy covered bay flooring last August. The flooring is resistant to stains but most importantly oil absorption. Smith says that is why they chose to go with epoxy floors. “We have a brand-new state-of-the-art facility,” said Smith. “We want to keep it as nice as possible so we opted for flooring that would keep it nicer, longer.”

The goal is to hold a ribbon cutting and open house for the new facility next month. Smith says the council has expressed they would like to host a cookout for the event.

“We are excited to finally move into the building,” said Smith. “To commemorate the move, the council plans to host a community barbecue for the event. The public will get to see the years of work on this facility firsthand and we are excited to show them.