What are your thoughts on a new fire hall?

The City of Cokato is going to make major decisions about a proposed new public safety building in the next few weeks. The big questions are “Are people in Cokato willing to support a needed fire hall, despite the economic times? Do you want the new building on the south side or the north side? (theoretically speaking)” I think the fire department and city council are dying to hear the answers . . . but perhaps won’t receive feedback until something goes wrong or an unpopular decision is made.  Please express your opinion here or email Council Member Carl Harju (click here).


  1. Dan says:

    I believe that a new fire hall should be put in place and I would like to see it behind Punk Lundeen motors and the Marketplace.

  2. Carl Harju says:

    Hey Dan, thank you for your input. We want to hear from more of the residents of Cokato. Please contact me or one of the other council members and express your opinion.

  3. Paulie J. says:

    I would welcome a new fire hall in Cokato. I can’t imagine anyone not wanting it. I went to St. Cloud last weekend the fire department for St. Augusta is actually in the country. I don’t know that I would want a ‘country’ setting for the Cokato fire hall. I think the location that Dan mentioned is logical.

  4. dcmom says:

    I previously had responded to the question of where the fire hall should be located. My response to that now is the same as it was then.

    What makes the most sense is to find the geographical center of the area that the fire department serves. (this includes surrounding townships as well as the city of Cokato) Then find the position in town that comes the closest to that geographical center and use that location for the new fire hall. (Since the volunteer fire department is staffed with city residents, the response time to get to the trucks also has to be factored into the plan.) This will give the best response time to all that rely on the services of the rescue vehicles housed in the fire hall.

    I say if they need the additional space is should be built.

  5. Henry Schelhaas says:

    I think we should keep in mind we do have a rail road in this town, granted we have a bridge at one end as well, as buffalo did not have that option when i lived there. The largest part of our “city” population being on the south side of the tracks i would think that we should keep the fire hall on the southern side of the tracks. As some one else said, the folks out in the country chose to live out there for their own reasons, they do deserve to have access but my opinion would be to centralize it to where the majority of the population is.

  6. joe says:

    I am wondering why we need to spend so much money to get a bigger fire hall? Our taxes just increase $400 per year due to a school levy and now they are proposing another big tax increase? While I do agree that we do need a bigger fire hall it seems that they are asking way to much from the taxpayers, it’s getting to the point where I won’t be able to afford to live in the area due to the increase in property taxes, ($600+ in the past 2 years if this passes as proposed)

  7. Wayne Murphy says:

    Fact or Not
    I am not much for blogging, as you can tell by the few posts.

    I did want to say to anyone who has read this weeks Enterprise Dispatch article ,on the October 6th special council meeting, that the reporter was in error. She states that I left the meeting room for 15-20 minutes. I can tell you that I went to get a glass of water, returned to my seat in 3 minutes and I did not miss any votes or discussions.

    I replayed the video tape of the meeting and timed my over-stated absence. It confirms that I returned to my seat in less than 3 minutes.

    I only hope that those of you that saw the meeting will tell others.

    I take my position on the council seriously and always will. I meet with the reporter next week to find out if this was an editorial column or the reporting of the facts. The newspaper is doing its job and the word is out to those who trust the print media . But the tape doesn’t confirm this reporters written word. I wanted you to know the truth.

    I would appreciate our Vote for Mayor on November 4th

    Also I want to see Cokato move forward with the Emergency Services Building and most people I talk with feel the same. Let me know your comments

  8. Lynda Jensen, Editor says:

    The tape was reviewed and Mr. Murphy was gone for a only a few minutes, as he said, and not longer (although it seemed — in the words of another attendee ‘an eternity’). He did not miss any council action and was, in fact, at his seat when the meeting ended.

  9. Cokato Resident says:

    I think we could use a bigger fire hall, but also think we could get a new fire hall for less than the proposed building. With the economy the way it is, and the increases we have already had in our taxes the last few years, I would like the city council to look at ways to cut costs on the project before making any decisions. The need for a full kitchen and sleeping quarters for a volunteer fire department does not make sense to me, and the cosmetic appearance shouldn’t be as important as the functionality of it.

  10. Carl Harju says:

    Thanks for your input. Please allow me to respond to your concerns. Last spring the public safety building committee solicited bids from contractors to see what a new building would cost. Four of the bidders were interviewed and the one we have been working with was about 2/3s the price of the others. At that time we also looked at different options for building materials. The committee’s first choice was a tip-up building for the durability and speed of construction. However that option was felt to be too expensive at this time. Block vs steel was also considered and the price difference was negligable, so the committee recommended the block as it is generally more durable in severe weather.
    The fire and ambulance personel requested the kitchen since we often have all day training sessions where we need to have meals. The kitchen could also be used for holding fund raising meals. The Wright County deputies patroling the Cokato area also use the facilities for their meal breaks.
    The sleeping quarters are intended for our volunteer ambulance personel. We have people who would be interested in volunteering but they live outside the Cokato area. By having sleeping quarters available it means these people can help us keep our ambulance staffed at all times.
    We intend to keep the building basic on the outside. But we want it to still look decent. The landscaping will be primarily asphalt parking and grass.

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