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New fire station for Chugiak VFD

Posted: August 5, 2013 - 12:09am

EAGLE RIVER — The Chugiak Volunteer Fire Department will soon have a new fire station.

Construction is under way on the $6 million Fire Station 35, near Fire Lake in Eagle River, the Alaska Star reported.

The 10,000-square-foot building will have room for five firefighting and response vehicles, including an ambulance, fire engine, brush truck, water tender and either a boat or snowmachine, depending on the season. The sixth bay will be used for maintenance.

The building also has room for offices, classroom and will serve as the department’s administration center.

“It will house all of our logistics,” Chief Virginia McMichael said.

McMichael said it was strategically critical to have station again with easy access to the Old Glenn Highway and the Power Ridge subdivision.

“When this station opens, it’s going to be such an asset,” McMichael said. “We’re really, really excited.”

The previous Station 35 was closed in February 2012 when it was deem unsafe because of a deteriorating roof. That forced the department to consolidate all its work into four stations.

“It’s been an issue,” she said.

McMichael said construction is expected to be completed by next summer.

The building will also keep its namesake from the previous station. The building is named for Bill Lowe, who served for more than two decades on the department’s Board of Supervisors before being killed in a traffic accident on the Old Glenn Highway.

A current supervisor, former assembly member Debbie Ossiander, praised lawmakers like Rep. Bill Stoltze during the groundbreaking ceremony for getting money to build the station.

“The Chugiak-Eagle River delegation really stepped up to the plate,” she said.

Stoltze said Rep. Dan Saddler was a huge help in securing the funding.

“Without a good partner like that, it would have been tough,” he said.

Ossiander also credited the Municipality of Anchorage for quickly securing the site and expediting the process.

The project is a great example of “people working together for the common good,” Ossiander said.

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