7/6/11 – Plans to expand the Beaver Dam Fire Department into the space currently occupied by the Police Department are moving ahead at a steady pace. That’s according to Fire Chief Alan Mannel who told the city’s Police and Fire Commission last night that the blueprints are still being tweaked but the planning team is close to finalizing a layout to fit their needs. Mannel says the footprint of the fire station will change dramatically with additional room now for classrooms, meeting rooms, offices and storage space. The public would also find the department’s reception area move into the current city hall lobby. While there would not be much change to the current fire station, upgrades to the heating and cooling system are needed and the living quarters would be modernized to accommodate both male and female personnel. The city hired Bray Architects at a cost of $35,000 draw up the designs. A half million dollars in borrowing that had been in the city’s Capital Improvements Plan was eliminated in a cost saving move earlier this year. City officials asked the planning team to draw up plans with a price tag closer to a quarter million dollars, though budget planning for next year has not yet been discussed in committee. Also last night, Police Chief Ron Smith told the PFC that the city’s new $5.1 million dollar police station on Park Avenue is on time and on budget. Smith says personnel should be ready to move in as planned during the first week of September.