Motel meeting wrecking ball to make way for new Chester fire station


  • <p>SOURCE: GOOGLE MAPS</p><p>Chester&#8217;s current fire station in the village, off Central Street.</p>

The Windjammer Motel in Chester will be demolished to make way for the community's new fire station.

Chester's village commission is buying the property off Highway 3, which is currently owned by Richard W. Johnson. Less than two acres, the property includes the motel and a single-unit detached dwelling on site.

The transaction was confirmed on social media by Danielle Barkhouse - the municipal politician who represents the area - as well as by the volunteer fire department and the village commission.

In response to a question from one of her Facebook followers, Barkhouse said the motel "will be" torn down.

The land's purchase price wasn't released, however it currently has a market value assessment of $419,700.

Chester's existing 60-year-old Central Street station is owned by the village commission. The property of less-than-a-hectare holds a market value assessment of $451,300. It's unclear what the village's plans are for the land once the fire department moves.

Barkhouse told LighthouseNOW the timelines for demolition of the motel, the construction and completion of the new fire station, and the building's specifications aren't confirmed yet. When the village and MOC enter fire service contract negotiations again "then there will be more answers," she said in a social media message to LighthouseNOW. The current deal expires in March.

The Chester volunteer fire department said the Windjammer site was recommended by a committee after more than a year of research, site visits and testing various properties within the village limits.

"The site will be a significant investment into the future safety of the residents, businesses, and tourists of our fire district as well as the health and safety of the men and women who volunteer," the department said on its social media platform.

Meanwhile, the Village of Chester explained on social media that building something new on the Central Street land isn't viable because of safety and logistical reasons. Village officials suggested it makes little sense to have a station in the middle of a major residential area surrounded by challenging intersections in a time when the department covers geography well beyond the village, and most of the responding volunteers live and work outside of Chester.

The current station also has numerous space "deficiencies," including inadequate bay access to accommodate today's modern fire trucks.

Village officials also noted "the new building will include space for the village office and meeting room, eliminating the need to pay rent to another party."

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