Chief wants county home for fire drillsTwo Harbors Fire Chief Mark Schlangen wants to use the home sitting on land the county purchased a few months ago near Silver Creek Town Hall for fire training.
Two Harbors Fire Chief Mark Schlangen wants to use the home sitting on land the county purchased a few months ago near Silver Creek Town Hall for fire training.
The county purchased the land for $53,410 to enable a road change, making the curves near the road “a little more gentle.”
Schlangen would like the home to be used for a “live burn” practice. He expected other area fire departments to use it as well. There is also a garage and shed on the property that can be used. The county was planning on demolishing the buildings.
Commissioner Brad Jones said the burns could be a nuisance to neighbors but Schlangen didn’t think that would be the case.
The land would also eventually be used to install a dry hydrant which can be connected to a man-made pond in the area. Water would then be taken from those ponds in the case of a rural fire. They would be kept ice-free for winter use as well.
Schlangen also discussed the purchase of a new fire truck with the board, which would be paid for by the city of Two Harbors and the ownships that would benefit from it. He said the department tries to keep the trucks on a 25-year cycle. It is expected to cost about $800,000 for truck delivery by 2012.
The department has look-ed into getting help from grants for the project. “The big reason I’m here is communication,” Schlangen said.
The county could see a reduction of “Payments in Lieu of Taxes” in 2010. The county gets $577,000 a year from the state, which goes in the general fund. About $120,000 of that is divvied out to townships in the area. If there is a loss of funds, it could eventually lead to a reduction in services or a raised levy. The payments made to local governments help offset losses in property taxes due to nontaxable lands within their boundaries.