Capron officials hope to build new fire station

Published 9:16 am Friday, September 3, 2010

CAPRON—Capron Volunteer Fire Department & First Aid Squad is hoping to construct a new building.
Fire Chief Vernie Francis III said the process is in the preliminary stages, but he’s hopes a groundbreaking ceremony could take place within two months.
“We’re working that way,” Francis said Wednesday. “I think we have two of the original members still living around the area who helped build the first station. We would like to have them present for the groundbreaking, when it takes place.”
The department, which has about 30 active members, has its current station at 18090 Railroad Ave.
Francis said a new station would be funded entirely with department funds, but did not have an estimate for how much the building would cost. The building is in the bidding phase.
“We’re waiting to hear back from the bid process,” Francis said. “The design is fairly (in place), unless the bids come back so expensive that we have to downsize a little bit to be able to afford it. That’s about really the only stipulation that we’re looking at.
“If it comes to the point where we can’t afford it with volunteer funds, then we’re definitely going to have to downscale a little bit,” he added.
The building will need to house two fire engines, one pumper tanker, two ambulances and a brush truck.
“The membership has been working really hard on putting everything in the building they want,” Francis said. “They’ve looked at a bunch of different stations to get ideas, and we’ve put a huge packet together of what we need. We’ve hired an architect to go through and draw up some plans. Right now, we’re just waiting.”
Francis said the department purchased a lot on Main Street for the new station in 2007. The land was formerly the site of the old Capron Elementary School, which has since closed and burned down.
“We were able to purchase the land and cleaned the lot up,” Francis said. “We have a big, open lot.”