The City Of Albert Lea is considering two options to locate the new Fire Department facility. The current facility is inadequate, as there is not enough room for training, offices, living and sleeping quarters and decontamination gear. It does not comply with current Emergency Response Design Requirements.

The two locations are as follows:

  • East Main Street
  • Blazing Star Landing

East Main Street


  • This site is the most central location in the response area of the three options.
  • Building at this site helps with redevelopment of East Main Street.
  • The training area can be located across the railroad tracks west of the channel on property the city already owns.


  • Soil remediation is needed on the site.
  • The site is smaller than desired, which creates constraints on site development.
  • Site acquisition costs could be near $1 million.
  • Access to Main Street is difficult due to heavy traffic.

Blazing Star Landing


  • No site acquisition expense, the  city owns the property.
  • The site meets the desired site size.
  • The project can be completed within a reasonable amount of time.
  • Large site provides options for locating the facility.


  • There may be an added expense to grade the area and add infrastructure depending on the location chosen for the facility.
  • The site is at the east edge of desired central location and response time.
  • Potentially decreases taxable value to fund remaining site development.

Funding Options:

  • Principal and/or interest from Fire Pension Fund
  • City General Fund Reserves
  • USDA Loan with property tax or fire interest payback
  • City bond for some or all of project (generally requires vote of the people)

Revised Timeline:


  • July – October – Site Selection Determination
  • Monday, July 31 – Community Open House on site options 4-8 p.m.
  • July – August – Architect Proposals & Selection
  • October – February 2018 – Preliminary & Final Design; Select Construction Manager and best process including Best Value Contracting


  • February – April – Bidding
  • May – Early 2019 – Construction


  • —Construction Completion and Occupancy